Senate Finance Committee Bill Major Milestone in Health Care ReformLegislation passed Oct. 13 by the Senate Finance Committee, the final committee to consider health care reform, represents an important next step in our nation's struggle to fix our broken health care system.
American small business owners are being crushed by exorbitant health care costs, or simply can't afford coverage at all and remain unprotected if illness or injury strikes. Both realities also drive down competition and discourage entrepreneurialism, and small businesses need help. The Finance Committee's bill is a turning point; the last component needed to lay the groundwork for real reform has been put in place. With all the bills in, lawmakers now have the opportunity to create final legislation that will help our small businesses thrive.
No bill will ever be perfect or satisfy everyone. While we would like to see additional provisions supporting small businesses, such as a national exchange, more robust subsidies and a shorter timetable for implementation, the committee should be recognized for producing a bipartisan bill that would reduce the country's deficit and provide coverage to almost all Americans.
Failing to pass health care reform legislation this year is not an option. Economic research we [Small Business Majority] released in June shows that without health care reform, small business owners will pay nearly $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years to provide health insurance for their employees. And our recent opinion polling of small business owners in 17 states shows resounding support for reform. The cost of doing nothing is too high.
Small Business Majority is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded and run by small business owners and focused on solving the biggest problem facing small businesses today: the skyrocketing cost of health coverage. We speak for the nearly 28 million Americans who are self-employed or own businesses of up to 100 employees. Our organization sponsors scientific research that guides us to understand and advocate on behalf of the interests of small businesses across the country.
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