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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Small Biz Health Care Daily: On the Health Care “Precipice”

USA Today reported the following this afternoon: “President Obama, surrounded by Senate Democratic leaders, said today ‘we are on the precipice’ of major health care reform, though ‘there are still some differences that have to be worked out.’”

As someone who writes for a living, choice of words matters a great deal. And the selection of the word “precipice” by President Obama was revealing and accurate.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary offered the following definitions for “precipice”:

1: a very steep or overhanging place;
2: a hazardous situation

Indeed, “precipice” does not have a positive connotation. It is something scary and dangerous. And if this big government health care agenda is passed, the results for small businesses, taxpayers in general, and health care consumers will be scary – a fall into a very hazardous situation.

What would falling off this precipice mean? U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) summed it up well in a quote from the USA Today piece: “What we know for sure is that this bill includes a half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts, $400 billion in new taxes, and higher insurance premiums for everyone else.”

Yes, we are on the precipice.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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