Magazine article Insight on the News

Small Biz Can't Afford Clintoncare

Magazine article Insight on the News

Small Biz Can't Afford Clintoncare

Article excerpt

In the prosperous, low-tax, low-regulation 1980s, 7 million new small businesses and 20 million new jobs were created. Now, as these businesses struggle in the high-tax, high-regulation 1990s, their owners are outraged to learn that big corporations with financial stake in the Clinton health plan are using the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - once the "voice of American business" - to shill for Washington insiders. The Chamber's health committee recently recommended by a vote of 16-7 to back an employer mandate, whereby all companies would be required to provide health insurance to their employees.

Robert Patricelli, chairman of the Chamber health committee and president of a Connecticut health care firm whose Washington subsidiary, Lewin-VHI, has done much of the favorable econometric modeling of the Clinton proposal, is one of the Chamber's Board members who will benefit from a new government-run health care industry. Other big businesses like Chrysler have been lobbying to tax small business to pay for health care costs they negotiated with labor unions in the past.

The employer mandate is a government-enforced frill that small businesses cannot afford. To them, it means higher payroll taxes and higher costs. This translates into lost job, lost wages for remaining employees and lost profits. To put in bluntly, the employer mandate kills American small business.

Small business doesn't need government-run health care. For starters, tax equity - allowing self-employed Americans to deduct the cost of health insurance just as those who work for companies already do - would make insurance affordable for many now uninsured and would solve the portability problem. …

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