President Obama's Health Care Speech Rings True for Small Business
Small business owners need healthcare reform now.
President Obama reiterated Wednesday night in his address on health care reform what we've been hearing from small business owners across the country - the status quo is no longer acceptable. He acknowledged that for America's small business owners to be successful, they need reform, and they need it now.
The president shifted the debate away from the anti-reform rhetoric the country got bogged down in over the summer and back to the facts - which is that there is considerable bipartisan agreement on about 80 percent of the components of health care reform. We've seen the same overwhelming support in opinion polling we conducted of small business owners in 17 states across the nation. Elements including cost containment, insurance reform (specifically eliminating preexisting condition rules), establishing an insurance marketplace and providing tax credits to help small businesses and individuals afford insurance are all components the vast majority of small businesses support.
President Obama also introduced some new features we believe will be a great boon to small businesses, including a fail-safe mechanism to ensure cost savings and to prevent the deficit from rising, and a plan Senator McCain proposed during the campaign last year for a high-risk pool.
Those who suggest that reform will crush small businesses are, simply, wrong. What's crushing small businesses is skyrocketing health care costs, limited choices and a broken system that has this country's small business owners stuck in a financial morass. With his speech Wednesday night, President Obama invigorated and united proponents, shone a light on the facts and invited all those involved to contribute constructive solutions.
We are closer to reform now than we've ever been, and we must put political agendas aside and continue to move forward in our commitment to achieving reform this year. Constructive participation on both sides of the aisle is needed. The time for change is now, and we must work together in order to succeed. The future prosperity of our small business owners and the continued economic health of our nation depend on it.
About Small Business Majority
We bring the voices of small business to the public policy table.
The small business community is vast, diverse and dynamic. It includes 6 million small firms and nearly 22 million self-employed people, with varying political points of view. But one thing nearly all of them agree about is the need to make health insurance more affordable.
Small Business Majority was founded, and is run, by small business owners to present a more accurate, pragmatic and centrist view of public policy issues affecting small business. We're currently focused on finding a solution to the dramatically rising health insurance bills small firms have been facing over the past several years. It's time to restructure the way we get-and how much we pay for-healthcare coverage for our employees, our families and ourselves.
We conduct scientific research to illuminate key questions.
The best way to find out what small business owners want is to ask them.
- Small Business Majority commissions surveys of randomly selected small business owners across the country. The surveys have shown that small businesses are overly burdened by health care costs, that they want comprehensive reform now and that they're open to a variety of solutions.
- Small Business Majority turned to MIT economist Dr. Jonathan Gruber to project the effects of three different health care reform scenarios on small business profits, jobs and wages. The analysis found that compared with no reform, the scenarios would dramatically improve the situation for small businesses-holding down healthcare cost increases, saving jobs, preserving wages and bolstering profits.
Legislators want to hear the opinions of their constituencies-with all the varied viewpoints they espouse. The polling we do of small business owners throughout their districts and states, along with our economic research, gives them the unbiased information they need to do their jobs. We're frequently asked to provide a small business perspective that, until now, has struggled to be heard. A few examples:
- Small Business Majority works with the White House to organize policy discussions that focus on small business issues.
- We have testified before House and Senate committees considering health care reform legislation.
- We work with other national business groups and legislative committees to ensure that proposed changes to the health care system are beneficial to small business.
- We partner with business organizations in many states to communicate the specifics of health care reform to small business owners and the media.