Small Business Hoping for Christmas Miracle on Health-Care Bill

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The following is a press release from SBE Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship.

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Washington, D.C. -- The health care overhaul bill moving through the Senate places extraordinary and unprecedented cost burdens on America's small businesses, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) is hoping for a miracle when Senators vote on its final passage Christmas Eve. SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan said there is still time for one Democrat member to come to his or her senses, and vote NO on the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," H.R. 3590.

"We are hoping for a Secret Santa in the Senate. On the one hand you have certain Democrat senators lamenting excessive government spending, tax increases, Medicare cuts and questioning whether the bill will actually lower premium costs for the self-employed and small business owners. On the other hand, these same Senators continue to say 'yea' on the procedural votes that keep this misguided legislation moving forward. Small businesses are truly hoping one Democrat Senator will step forward and admit that this legislation has gotten seriously off track," said Kerrigan.

"Will one Democrat senator at least admit they need to actually read the bill? To understand its impact, costs, unintended consequences, veiled provisions and general disparity of the 'cash for cloture' measures?" asked Kerrigan.

According to SBE Council, the cumulative cost load that H.R. 3590 (the Reid bill) imposes on small firms will be devastating given competitive global conditions and the challenging economic climate. The legislation's taxes, regulations, mandates, and compliance initiatives are staggering - costly and time-consuming requirements that will further chip away at what little time and capital small business owners currently have to compete and survive in a difficult economy. In addition, the legislation will increase health coverage costs, not lower them as promised.

"Christmas is a time for giving. The Reid bill takes far too much from small business owners, and we will continue to urge every U.S. Senator to vote no on this dreadful piece of legislation. Miracles do happen, and small business owners are not giving up," said Kerrigan.

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SBE Council is urging the Senate to start the legislative process over, and incorporate small business reforms within the core bill. The group has long advocated a national marketplace for health care, robust tax incentives for businesses and individuals, the expansion of health savings accounts, tax parity for the self-employed, medical liability reform as well as support for local and state programs that are helping to deliver health care and insurance to those who lack access. Such market reforms and tax incentives will do far more to cover the uninsured -- and at far less cost to taxpayers -- than the $2.5 trillion Reid bill, according to SBE Council.

SBE Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit www.sbecouncil.org.

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