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Democratic Senators, Congresswoman, Small Business Owners Discuss Impact of Health Insurance Reform on Small Businesses
Date:11/3/2009

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Democratic Senators Tom Harkin and Mary Landrieu and Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson joined Mike Draper, a small business owner from Des Moines, Iowa; Gwendolyn Barnes, a small business owner from Shreveport, Louisiana; Dr. Ken Brantley, a small business owner from Richmond, Virginia; and other small business owners from across the country at a press conference this morning to discuss how health insurance reform will benefit small businesses. Recent studies indicate that small businesses are likely to see their premiums rise 15% in the coming year, double the rate of last year's increase. Small businesses employ roughly 40% of the private labor force in America, making it crucial that we work to ensure affordability of health coverage for this central part of the American workforce.

"The status quo in health insurance spending for America's small businesses is intolerable and it is unsustainable," said Harkin. "Today, we have a simple message for small business owners across America: help is on the way and it comes in the form of a health reform plan that puts a stop to the discriminatory insurance industry practice of jacking up premiums for small businesses by up to 200 percent when an employee gets sick or because the business hires a woman. Our bill will end the practice of denying coverage based on preexisting conditions or increasing premiums based on health status, gender, or industry. As I have said many times, the biggest winners in a reformed health system will be small business owners and their employees."

Landrieu said: "Small businesses are suffering from skyrocketing health insurance premiums that are eating into their bottom lines and threatening their survival. As we continue to make progress toward comprehensive health care reform, Democrats are working to address the health care needs of small businesses. And while we may not yet completely agree on everything, one thing we
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SOURCE U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
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