In response to the Senate Finance Committee's vote (14-9) advancing the Baucus plan (remember...this is not a true bill, but the framework of legislation) I released the media statement below. In-as-much as those supporting the Baucus plan contend it is a good deal for America, the plan does not pass the key test that reform is supposed to bring about -- that is, making health coverage more affordable for small businesses and consumers.
Here is my statement:
"The Baucus plan will raise health insurance costs for most small businesses while imposing a financial penalty on self-employed individuals who cannot afford coverage. The plan's taxes and mandates will only serve to exacerbate the current woes in the system by driving costs higher and limiting choices for consumers. Small business owners and their workforce are still struggling under difficult economic conditions. Senate Finance Committee members who voted for the Baucus plan, did not vote to ease the financial burdens facing America's small business and entrepreneurial sector. Cost conditions will worsen under the plan, and unfortunately the situation only gets nastier once this 'bill' is melded with Senate HELP Committee legislation."
SBE Council continues to fight for small businesses in this most critical debate. Please stay in contact with your Senators and House members by calling 202-225-3121 -- let them know the current direction of health care reform is unacceptable. Americans cannot afford higher costs and new cost burdens!
Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO
SBE Council (www.sbecouncil.org)