Stakeholders Disagree On Healthcare Bill’s Impact On Small Businesses

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Stakeholders disagree on healthcare bill's impact on small businessesThe passage of the House healthcare reform bill has prompted small business sector insiders to offer conflicting assessments of its impact on the sector’s fiscal burden.

Among the critics of the bill is the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) which says a report from the Joint Committee on Taxation found the provisions to increase taxes on the wealthy in order to finance the reform will translate into a big tax hike on small business owners.

SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan said this will "deprive the private sector of the capital it needs to hold onto their workers, create more job opportunities, invest, innovate and grow."

Meanwhile, several Democratic lawmakers, joined by a group of small business owners, participated in a press conference, and stressed the legislation will end the insurance industry practices of hiking premiums for small businesses when an employee gets sick or because the business hires a woman.

Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa said that "[the] bill will end the practice of denying coverage based on preexisting conditions or increasing premiums based on health status, gender or industry."

The Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship says studies indicate small businesses—which employ nearly 40 percent of private labor force in the U.S.—are likely to see their premiums rise by 15 percent in the coming year, twice the rate of last year’s increase.
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