NASE News

Small -Business Owners Tell Congress They Cannot Wait For Health Reform

A reflection of the varied small businesses across America, small-business owners with businesses ranging from a café to a commercial printing company gathered in Washington recently to advise the House Committee on Small Business on the health care reform proposals that would most help small businesses.

“As a general rule, small business premiums shoot up between 8 percent and 16 percent annually…. For small businesses already battered by the recession, these costs have become impossible to absorb,” said Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) in her opening statement. “As rates continue to climb, entrepreneurs are facing tough choices - cut healthcare, or cut jobs.”

All of the witnesses before the committee stated that they wanted to provide their employees with health care coverage, but even those currently providing insurance noted that the often double-digit increases in premiums were making it impossible for them to continue providing these benefits.

Many witnesses testified in support of options such as a national health insurance exchange and pooling arrangements, but were opposed to mandates. Witnesses also supported equalizing tax treatment for the self-employed, targeted tax credits, price transparency from insurers, and the adoption of health information technologies.