The following is a press release from SBE Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship.
The House is expected to vote today on H.R. 2 - legislation to repeal the health care overhaul law. SBE Council delivered a Key Vote letter to every member of the U.S. House, which urges a vote in favor of H.R. 2. Following the vote on H.R. 2, which is expected to pass, SBE Council will then begin working with Republicans and Democrats on an alternative reform framework that will bring more choice, affordability and innovation to our nation's health care system. (Please note, following passage of H.R. 2, the House will then vote on H.R. 9, which instructs certain committees "to report legislation replacing the job-killing health care law.")
As SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan noted in the KEY VOTE letter,the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has not lived up to the promises made by its supporters. Entrepreneurs are experiencing higher health costs and fewer coverage options. In addition, small business owners and their employees will not be able to keep the coverage they currently have (as promised by President Obama).
Unfortunately, other provisions in PPACA (set to phase in over the next few years) offer higher taxes, costly penalties and a massive regulatory burden that will diminish the capacity of entrepreneurs to invest and create jobs. "So, on top of exacerbating the longstanding woes of our health care system, PPACA also promises to weigh down small business owners with new costs they cannot afford -- robbing them of their precious time and capital, and impairing economic recovery," wrote Kerrigan in the letter.
She added: "It is clear that employer-sponsored coverage, choice in coverage options, and innovative solutions that promote affordability and wellness are being systematically undermined through the regulatory process governing PPACA's implementation. That is why PPACA's repeal is so vitally important."
SBE Council has also joined our allies in the business community in support of repeal. We signed a Small Business for Affordable Health Care Coalition letter along with more than 30 of the nation's most influential groups that represent small firms across a variety of industries.
The letter highlighted key provisions that will have a direct negative impact on small business. Some of the most egregious include:
• An employer mandate that encourages job cuts, not job creation
• New taxes on small business health insurance plans
• Onerous 1099 paperwork information reporting mandates
• Higher insurance costs due to new mandated benefits
• Increases in Medicare payroll taxes
• New taxes, fees and mandates specifically targeted at the small business community
• Prohibitions on HSAs, FSAs and HRAs that limit employer and employee flexibility and drive up healthcare costs
The Start Over! health care coalition, of which SBE Council is a member, also weighed in on the upcoming vote. The coalition ran an advertisement in Roll Call, and issued its own letter to every House member about why repeal is critical to the health of the business sector, the economy and job creation.
As noted in the Start Over! letter: "...Passage of H.R. 2 is the first necessary step toward health care reform that first and foremost contains health care costs. Absent that, national health expenditures will continue to rapidly grow and fiscally responsible and sustainable expansion of access to health insurance and medical care, achieved in the ill-conceived ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act' (PPACA) largely through the expansion of public programs, will remain beyond our grasp. Critically, the already intensifying health care-related financial pressure on employers' and individuals' bottom lines and governmental budgets will continue unabated."
Of course, detractors of health care repeal are calling H.R. 2 and H.R. 9 "symbolic" and a waste of time. SBE Council disagrees. We believe the successful push for repeal in the House will build momentum in the Senate for paring back some of the more intrusive and costly provisions of PPACA.
SBE Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit www.sbecouncil.org.