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Health Insurance Reform Daily Mythbuster: 'Health Insurance Reform Will Cost Small Businesses Too Much'

Health insurance reform opponents continue to spread myths about America's Affordable Health Choices Act, including the myth that reform will cost small businesses too much. However, research shows that small businesses will benefit significantly from health insurance reform in a number of ways including lower health care costs and saved jobs.

MYTH:  'Health insurance reform will cost small businesses too much.'

FACT: Under the emerging reform proposal, 87 percent of small businesses are likely to be exempt from the requirement to insure their workers.  But for those that aren't, they are likely to get a better financial deal under health reform than without.  A recent study by the Small Business Majority found that without health insurance reform, small businesses would pay nearly $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years in health care costs for their workers.  With reform, the study shows that small businesses can save as much as $855 billion, a reduction of 36 percent, money that can be reinvested to grow the economy. 

The report from the Small Business Majority highlights that the current health care system is simply UNSUSTAINABLE for small businesses.  Among its many findings are the following:

COSTS

  • WITHOUT health reform, small businesses will pay nearly $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years in health care costs for their workers.

JOBS

  • WITHOUT reform, the study shows that 178,000 small business jobs will be lost in 2018 as a result of rising health care costs.

WAGES

  • WITHOUT reform, the study shows that $834 billion in small business wages will be lost due to high health care costs over the next ten years.

PROFITS

  • WITHOUT reform, over the next 10 years, the study shows that small businesses will lose $52.1 billion in profits to high health care costs.

In testimony before the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee last week, John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, highlighted the urgent need for health insurance reform:

“Behind the statistics, though, there are millions of [small business owners] struggling with medical bills and keeping their businesses afloat.  We hear stories every day from small business owners who can't get coverage because they've been sick in the past or the health plans they are offered are outrageously priced.  Louise Hardaway, a would-be entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical products industry in Nashville, had to give up on starting her own business after just a few months because she couldn't get decent coverage--one company quoted her a $13,000 monthly premium for herself and one employee.” [9/15/09]

Click here for a more detailed analysis of the House bill and small businesses>>