Please see below for fact check on remarks made just now by Senator Thune, falsely claiming that health reform would hurt small businesses:
RHETORIC: Sen. Thune Claimed Health Reform Would Hurt Small Businesses – Would Raise Costs, Hit Them With New Taxes. “You cannot look at this proposal, this health care reform proposal, and come away from it and say, this is a good thing for small businesses when small businesses are saying, this is going to drive up the cost of doing business, this is going to raise health care costs, and these taxes that you’re going to hit us with is going to make it harder for us to create jobs…And so you have all these new taxes, and all of them heaped up on our small business sector.” [Senate Floor, 12/14/09]
REALITY: SMALL BUSINESSES DEMAND HEALTH REFORM – BECAUSE IT WOULD CUT COSTS & PROVIDE BENEFITS Founder And CEO Of Small Business: “The Notion That Health Care Reform Is Bad For Small Businesses Is Little More Than A Purposefully Misleading Bag Of Rhetoric That Has Nothing To Do With The Real Issues Facing Small Businesses.” Jonathan Weber, the “founder, publisher, and CEO of New West,” a media company, wrote about his perspective about the need for health insurance reform for small businesses: “The National Federation of Independent Businesses says small businesses should oppose the legislation because it ‘fails to lower’ health care costs, ignoring the fact that there are a lot of issues here besides cost (see above)… the notion that health care reform is bad for small businesses is little more than a purposefully misleading bag of rhetoric that has nothing to do with the real issues facing small businesses. I desperately hope that most business owners see through it and communicate with their elected representatives accordingly.” [The Big Money, 7/27/09]

Chamber Of Commerce: “The Reality With The Business Community Is That We Want Reform, While Some Republicans Want To Stop This Train And Start Over.” The Wall Street Journal reported on the Chamber Of Commerce’s relatively positive reaction to Chairman Baucus’ health reform proposal: “‘The reality with the business community is that we want reform, while some Republicans want to stop this train and start over,’ said Bruce Josten, the chamber’s chief lobbyist. ‘That is just not going to happen.’” [Wall Street Journal, 9/25/09]

CBO On Senate Bill Included $27 Billion Small Business Tax Credit For Providing Coverage. In its estimate of the Senate reform bill, CBO wrote: “The other main element of the coverage provisions that would increase federal deficits is the tax credit for small employers who offer health insurance, which is estimated to reduce revenues by $27 billion over 10 years.” [Congressional Budget Office, 11/18/09]

CBO On Senate Bill: Certain Employers Would Be Allowed To Give Employees Access To Exchanges, Covering An Additional 5 Million People. In its estimate of the Senate reform bill, CBO wrote: “Under the legislation, certain employers could allow all of their workers to choose among the plans available in the exchanges, but those enrollees would not be eligible to receive subsidies via the exchanges…CBO and JCT expect that approximately 5 million people would obtain coverage that way in 2019, brining the total number of people enrolled in exchange plans to about 30 million in that year.” [Congressional Budget Office, 11/18/09]

Business Roundtable: Without Reform, Health Care Costs Rise To $28,530 Per Employee, 166% Higher; With Reform, Businesses Could Save $3,000 Per Employee. A report from the Business Roundtable concluded that: “If the cost trends of the past 10 years repeat, by 2019, employment-based spending on health care at large employers will be 166% higher than today on a per-employee basis. This equates to an average of $28,530 per employee when employer subsidies, employee contributions, and employee out-of-pocket costs are combined. We estimate that if enacted properly, the right legislative reforms could potentially reduce that trend line by more than $3,000 per employee, to $25,435.” [Business Roundtable – Health Care Reform, 11/12/09]

Study: No Health Insurance Reform Means Small Businesses Will Pay Nearly $2.4 Trillion In Healthcare Costs, Cost 178,000 Jobs. The Small Business Majority study commissioned a study from noted economist from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jonathan Gruber. The study found that, “without reform, small businesses will pay nearly $2.4 trillion dollars over the next ten years in healthcare 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 study also found that without reform, 178,000 small business jobs will be lost in 2018 as a result of healthcare costs, and with reform, up to 128,000 of those jobs could be saved. [The Economist Impact of Healthcare Reform on Small Business, 6/11/09]

Small Business Majority Study: With Reform, Small Business Will Save As Much As $855 Billion Over The Next 10 Years. Small Business Majority Study: “Without reform, small businesses will pay nearly $2.4 trillion dollars over the next ten years in healthcare 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 Economic Impact of Healthcare Reform on Small Business, 6/11/09]

Survey: Even Though Over 80% Of Small Business Owners Say Health Insurance Would Help Attract Best Employees, 45% Say They Do Not Provide It Because It Is Too Expensive. A Wells Fargo / Gallup poll found that, “[e]ight in 10 small-business owners believe that having an adequate health insurance program would help their companies attract the best qualified employees (84%), reduce the likelihood that their employees would leave (83%), and would make employees more loyal to their companies (81%)…Although small-business owners acknowledge that their companies can obtain health insurance for their employees, 45% of those who say they do not provide insurance say it is because they cannot afford to do so.” [Wells Fargo / Gallup Poll, 10/5/07]

National Small Business Association: “Health-Care Reform Can Not Wait Yet Another Year.” “Health-care reform topped the list of small-business priorities when members of the National Small Business Association voted recently on issues they want Congress and President Barack Obama to address. The group said it supports ‘broad health-care reform’ that will reduce costs, improve quality, create a fair sharing of health-care costs, and focus on individuals’ responsibilities as health-care consumers. ‘Given the current state of the U.S. economy, the fact that our members voted health-care reform their number one priority ought to send a strong message to Congress,’ NSBA President Todd McCracken said in a written statement. ‘Health-care reform can not wait yet another year.’” [Orlando Sentinel, 3/9/09]

###