Today, House Republicans held a press conference condemning the Democratic health reform plan and alleging that small businesses would be “destroyed” under Democratic reforms. In fact, the Democratic plan would help reduce skyrocketing health care costs and expand access to affordable coverage for small businesses and their workers. Republicans need to get their facts straight. After all, they are the Party that during six years of complete control in Washington did nothing except stand by and watch as rising health care costs cut deeper into the pockets of small businesses.
While Costs Skyrocketed,
Republican Majority Ignored Small Businesses
For six years, Republicans controlled both the Congress and White House, giving them every opportunity to address the problems with our Nation’s health care system. Instead, the “Party of No” chose to do nothing. In the meantime, small businesses have suffered more and more under the burden of skyrocketing insurance costs and decreased coverage choices for their employees:
- Insurance costs for small businesses have increased 129% since 2000.
- Only 45% of America’s smallest firms can afford to offer health care benefits. In fact, 60% of America’s uninsured – or 28 million—are small business owners, workers, and their families.
- Today, small businesses pay up to 18% more per worker than large firms for the same health insurance policy.
- Administrative costs equal up to 25% of the cost of premiums for some small business health plans, compared to 10% for large firms.
Without reform, small businesses will be devastated by health care costs over the next decade. According to a report from the Small Business Majority, without health reform:
- Small businesses will pay nearly $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years in health care costs for their workers.
- 178,000 small business jobs will be lost in 2018 as a result of rising health care costs.
- $834 billion in small business wages will be lost due to high health care costs over the next ten years.
- Small businesses will lose $52.1 billion in profits to high health care costs over the next ten years.
Republicans Ignore That
Democratic Health Reforms Benefit Small Businesses
Republicans continue to ignore the following provisions in Democratic health reform legislation that would reduce the burden of skyrocketing costs on small businesses and their workers. The plan will:
- Give small businesses the benefits of large-group rates, lower administrative costs, and the ability to offer a choice of plans to employees through an “insurance exchange.”
- Increase competition in the insurance market in areas where a lack thereof results in higher costs.
- Ensure small businesses don’t pay higher premiums if they employ a sicker workforce.
- Provide a tax credit to assist smaller firms who want to offer coverage.
How Does GOP Comprehensive
Health Reform Legislation Help Small Businesses?
“Is that a trick question?” you ask. That is the only explanation given that it has been more than 125 days since House Republicans pledged to introduce a comprehensive health reform bill of their own. Without an alternative, the Democratic plan is the only plan that helps small businesses. Today’s spectacle was just another reminder of how the “Party of No” is all talk and no action.