It will come as no surprise to those of us who follow our 535 leaders in Congress that practically all of them do not understand small business issues. Oh, yes they’ll voice the platitudes of job creation and entrepreneurship, but the vast majority of our leaders (and especially their staffs) have never had to make payroll, or provide a service or product, while wearing all the hats of a small business owner.
We are now facing one of our country’s most significant issues – health care reform, and I’m afraid Congress is going to create a solution which will be much worse than what presently exists.
Yes, the system needs reforming. We need to find a way to cover folks who truly need assistance. We need to find ways to reduce the costs of the system, and we need to develop a way of paying for the system which does not put everything on the back of employers.
And Congress has decided to ignore some of these issues.
Reducing costs? This proposal does not do it per Doug Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office. Interesting enough, those comments drew the ire of Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker Pelosi who wanted to shoot the messenger rather than hear the ugly economic truth.
The coverage of everyone also creates some interesting scenarios – much of it may play out years down the road when the bureaucrats have started creating rules which will snarl up the system. In the present proposal, employers can willingly opt out and pay 8% of payroll. In many cases small employers are paying in excess of 11% of payroll for health care. Thus, it would be cheaper for those employers to let the employees pay for their own insurance. Now, comes the ugly part. We constantly hear the complaints of individuals who are presently just paying a portion of their health insurance coverage. What happens when they start seeing the ugly reality of health insurance costs, which could easily double or triple what they are paying. Odds are they’ll drop coverage, and we start this whole ugly scenario again.
And don’t even get me started on the issue of a government run insurance program – that’s a farce. Maybe the solution – in the long run – is a government health program. That way we can only blame one party for our health care problems – the government. Oh, that’s us.
Regardless of your position on this issue, contact your Congressman and make your voice heard. Special interests groups (hospitals, insurance companies, doctors, health care reformers) have been talking to Congress for years on these issues. Trade association’s like ours don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of changing their mind – but constituents can. Get verbal. Do it NOW!