Lubbock Chamber urges citizens to oppose proposed health care reform - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/21/09

Lubbock Chamber of Commerce urges citizens to oppose proposed health care reform

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Posted by Karin Slyker | email

The following is a news release issued to NewsChannel 11 by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - President Obama and Congress are pushing major health care reform, and the Lubbock Chamber, U.S. Chamber and other chambers nationwide have been out front working on behalf of our business members, supporting many of the same principles - lower health care cost, improving the quality of care, and making sure every American has access to affordable coverage.

However, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce believes the legislation currently being considered would not improve the system - but in fact jeopardize the parts that currently work.

The legislation under consideration now would:

  • create a government run (public) insurance plan,
  • create employer mandates on businesses particularly small business requiring them to provide coverage for all employees, and
  • major tax increases including imposing an additional "surtax" on high income earners.

All of which the Chamber opposes.

The Chamber and the business community are eager to work to reform the system, however, not at the expense or on the backs of businesses. The current employer-based system already voluntarily provides health benefits to more than 160 million Americans, and overwhelmingly, employees are satisfied with these benefits and want their employers to continue providing it to them.

Additionally, last week Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director, Douglas Elmendorf, told the Senate Budget Committee during testimony, that the health reform measures being proposed by some democrats would worsen an already bleak budget outlook, increasing deficit projections and driving the nation more deeply into debt.

(Click here) to view the flow charts of the Current Regulation of Health Plans vs. the Government Regulation of Health Plans in House Healthcare Reform Bill.

What would just one feature of these reform bills do to small businesses? Under the House proposal, a 50-person company paying each employee $50,000 for a total payroll of $2.5 million a year and not offering insurance would pay a penalty of $200,000, or $4,000 per employee. The Senate bill's $750-per-employee penalty would add up to $37,500 for that same business. And, that's just one part of proposed reform.

For these reasons the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce has created a website (click here) to increase public support in sending a strong message to Congress.

Included is a nationwide letter the U.S. Chamber will send to Congress next Monday as the House is potentially voting on the bill before they leave Washington for the August recess.

The deadline to be included on this letter to Congress is close of business Friday, July 24th.

To sign your company/organization name on this nationwide letter, please send your company/organization name, point of contact, email, city and state to this (email).

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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