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Landrieu, Snowe Champion Small Business Health Care Reform Efforts
Date:10/20/2009

Hearing examines the strengths and areas for improvement in reform proposals for small businesses

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, today held a hearing to better understand the needs of small businesses in health care reform and to examine whether the current proposals meet those needs.

"We are here today to discuss one of the most critical issues facing small businesses in America today: the rising cost of health care, and to review and analyze the work of both the Senate HELP and Finance Committees," Sen. Landrieu said. "Many of us here in Washington, including myself, Ranking Member Snowe and President Obama, have said that the quality, affordable health care choices we have access to through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program should be available to all Americans. In Congress, we know that with the right level of rules and regulations and with a large enough pool to spread risk, these exchanges can work. We know this because we are part of one.

"The Finance bill creates an expansive, individual and private insurance exchange that increases competition by creating another choice and pools people together to lower costs. It also provides tax credits and other incentives to help businesses provide coverage and encourage workers to enter the exchange," Senator Landrieu said. "This bill is a step in the right direction because small businesses -- and all Americans -- can't go another pay check without meaningful reform.

"When it comes to the small business health insurance crisis that has plagued this country for years, the status quo is simply unacceptable," said Ranking Member Snowe. "According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, while 98 percent of large firms offer health coverage, only 46 percent of our smallest businesses, those with fewer
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SOURCE U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
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