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Small Biz RX To Secretary Sebelius' Comments At Senate Hearing

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Immediate Release: Contact: Kristin Oberlander
(202) 466-2100
koberlander@NASEadmin.org
Twitter: NASEtweets

Secretary Touts Help For Small Businesses, But Fails To Address The Rising Health Care Costs For The Self-Employed And Micro-Businesses

Washington, D.C., March 17, 2011 - Kristie Arslan, Executive Director of the NASE, released the following statement in response to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ testimony before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s Hearing, “Health Reform: Lessons Learned During the First Year.” During the hearing, Secretary Sebelius touted how the Affordable Care Act is helping our nation’s small businesses with their health care costs, yet fails to recognize the ballooning costs to our nation’s smallest businesses – the self employed and micro-businesses. 

“Secretary Sebelius touts her agency’s efforts to notify four million small businesses that they may be eligible for a tax cut to help provide coverage to employees,” said Arslan. “This sounds like good news – except that there are 23 million self employed and micro-business owners who are struggling to afford coverage for themselves and their families right now, let alone anyone else they employ. Health insurance is a luxury item for these business owners and many are going without so they can focus on higher priority needs, like groceries and the mortgage. Four million small businesses is a start, but until policymakers focus on the majority of the small business demographic – the self employed and micro-businesses – they are not doing enough to get our economy back on track.”

During Secretary Sebelius’ testimony, she said:

“More than 4 million small businesses have been notified that they may be eligible for a tax cut to help them provide coverage for their workers – a benefit that’s already making a difference, with the number of small firms offering health benefits rising for the first time in a decade.  By slowing the growth of health care costs, the new law will free businesses to invest in their own growth and create new jobs.” 

NASE and other small business advocates are fighting to make this year’s temporary self-employed health insurance tax deduction permanent. While every other type of business, including corporations and partnerships, can write off the cost of health coverage as a business expense, our nation’s smallest businesses were only granted a one-year opportunity. Kristie argues this point in her latest Huffington Post blog piece.



About the NASE
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, bringing a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy. The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's Web site at www.NASE.org.




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