Obama Touts Benefits of Health Care Reform for Small Businesses
In his weekly Internet and radio address on Saturday, President Obama discussed his administration's efforts for small businesses and pitched health care reform as a way to help small businesses grow by helping more firms offer workers health care benefits, The Hill reports.
Obama said, "Many entrepreneurs can't get financing to start a small business in the first place. And many more are discouraged from even trying because of the crushing costs of health care -- costs that have forced too many small businesses to cut benefits, shed jobs or shut their doors for good." He said current Democratic reform proposals would allow small businesses to buy coverage for employees through insurance exchanges, "which may offer better coverage at lower costs." He said the proposals also would give tax credits to small businesses to help provide health care benefits (Tiron, The Hill, 10/24).
Johanns: Dems' Reform Plans Will Raise Premiums, Cut Medicare
In the Republican response to Obama's address, Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) said, "True health care reform should reduce what you're paying and make it easier" to get care, but Democratic reform proposals would result in higher taxes and premiums (Silva, "The Swamp," Chicago Tribune, 10/26).
Johanns said the proposals also would:
- Change the rules for flexible spending accounts;
- Impose requirements for individuals to obtain health insurance coverage; and
- Cut funding for Medicare.
Johanns also criticized Obama and Democratic legislators for the way reform proposals are being put together, saying "a 1,500-page bill, full of carve-outs and backroom deals, is currently being brokered behind closed doors" (Koffler, Roll Call, 10/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.