NASE News

NASE Opposes Senate Health Reform Bill

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

Only 22% of All Small Businesses Will Have Access to Immediate Assistance

Washington, D.C., December 22, 2009 – Health reform legislation continues to inch toward passage as the Senate works to get home for the holidays. Unfortunately, they have missed one key segment of the population in the crafting of this bill – the self-employed.

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) believes that the Senate’s health reform bill is an improvement upon the House’s efforts. However, in light of the continued inability to tackle the key issue of affordability for the self-employed, the NASE is opposing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590).

The self-employed are seventy-eight percent of all small businesses in the United States. For the past ten years self-employed businesses have grown faster than all other segments of the business population, contributing close to $1 trillion dollars to our economy in 2007. Yet, one-third of self-employed individuals are currently uninsured, with cost being the primary reason for their lack of insurance. Furthermore, seventy-one percent of self-employed individuals have gone uninsured at some point in their lives. Those with coverage have experienced double-digit premium increases every year, making it difficult for them to retain insurance.

The NASE continuously worked with Senate Members to push for improvements to H.R. 3590 such as the Tax Equity for the Self-Employed Amendment (S. Amdt. #3013) which would have provided the self-employed with a 50 percent business deduction for their health care costs; an important first step in making the tax treatment of health costs fair for all businesses. However, Senate leadership chose to forgo this key amendment and instead focused budget resources elsewhere, such as on the expansion of premium assistance for bigger businesses contributing at least 50% to the cost of group health coverage for their employees.

“The primary goal of reform should not solely be to increase the ranks of the insured at any cost, but rather to create a stable health insurance market that allows for affordable coverage options to ensure that the chief contributors to our economy – the self-employed – are not at risk of facing higher health expenses,” commented Kristie Arslan, executive director of NASE’s legislative offices. “As it stands, the self-employed will receive no tangible, immediate bottom line savings on health costs from the Senate bill.”

Under H.R. 3590, our nation’s smallest businesses must wait until 2014 to receive any financial aid to afford health coverage. That’s nearly four years, or 48 monthly premium payments until receiving a little relief. Additionally, only those self‐employed business owners with an individual household income below $43,320 or a household income below $88,200 for a family of four will qualify, leaving a large portion of self-employed Americans mandated to purchase health coverage without any assistance.

Read the NASE’s statement on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in its entirety here.

 



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.