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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Small Biz Health Care Daily: Senator Landrieu and More Government in Health Care

On December 15, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) released a press statement titled “Landrieu: Now is the Time to Pass Health Care Reform.” Her statement opened:

“While many of us expressed cost and bureaucracy concerns about early drafts of health care reform legislation, it is clear that the product the Senate is debating is a dramatic improvement. Senate Democrats have developed a consensus that combines the best blend of private and public approaches to reduce cost, expand coverage and increase choice and competition for Americans. The Congressional Budget Office and the nation's premier economists have confirmed that premiums will go down or remain stable, so that wages for millions of Americans can increase.”

Really? Somehow, more government mandates, regulations, spending and taxes are going to reduce costs, and expand choice and competition? How does this happen? And other than the usual lefty suspects, just who are these “premier economists” who have decided to throw away economic common sense, according to Landrieu?

Landrieu also asserts: “In Louisiana, more than 50,000 small businesses could be helped by small business tax credits to make premiums for their employees more affordable.”

But the tax credit being discussed is highly targeted and temporary. Small businesses are not going to be helped by this effort to expand government’s role in health care, but instead will face both higher premiums and higher taxes.

When it comes to government interference in the market, there are no free lunches. Big government health care is being peddled that way. Small business owners, health care consumers and taxpayers should not be fooled. Nothing has been dramatically improved in the Senate. Rather, it is still about big costs and big bureaucracies.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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