Small Business Majority, Main Street Alliance Urge Health Care Vote in Congress

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

This week, the Health Reform Coalition, including the Small Business Majority, the American Library Association, the Main Street Alliance, and many other national groups, urged Congress to vote in favor of health care reform. The fate of health insurance reform has been up in the air since late January, following the victory of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts' special election for the U.S. Senate. With its supermajority vote gone, President Obama and Democratic leadership are weighing the possibility of using reconciliation, or an up-or-down vote, to pass the health bill.

In a letter to Congress, the coalition stressed that voting in favor of health care reform would, among other things:

  • help small businesses so they can afford to provide decent health coverage for their workers;

  • curb health care costs so businesses can grow and provide better wages for their workers; and

  • end "enormous premium increases," such as the 39 percent increase just announced by Anthem Blue Cross.

According to the Small Business Majority, the final consensus bill contains a number of provisions related to small business, though it is still unclear whether the House will alter the bill before it is voted on.

At present, the bill contains a health insurance exchange that would create a pool of small businesses with up to 100 employees and the self-employed, which is expected to enable insurers to offer lower premiums as a result of lower administrative costs. The current bill also provides small business tax credits, cost containment measures, and would increase the choice of health plans, including health co-ops and new multi-state health plans.