Please see below for a fact check on comments made just now by Senator Thune on the Senate floor, calling health reform a “job killer” when in fact small businesses would greatly benefit from reform:

RHETORIC: Sen. Thune Said That Health Reform Is A “Job Killer Because of All Of the Tax Increases and Every Small Business Organization Has Said That.” “The senator from Idaho, his amendment that recommits all of the tax increases, and I will support that  wholeheartedly…because these tax increases are the absolute worst thing we can do at a time when we have an economy in recession and we’re asking small businesses to help lead us out of the recession. 70% of the jobs in this country are created by small businesses. It is much higher in my state of South Dakota. So, these tax increases couldn’t be more poorly timed in terms of getting the economy restarted and creating jobs for Americans and getting them back to work. Which, of course, since most people get their insurance, at least currently, through their employer, one of the best things to provide insurance is to put people back to work. This bill would have the opposite effect. It’s a job killer because of all of the tax increases and every small business organization has said that.” [Senator Thune Senate Floor Speech, 12/15/09]

REALITY: THUNE IS WRONG, MANY SMALL BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS HAVE SAID THAT THEY WOULD WIN UNDER HEALTH REFORM AND THAT COSTS WOULD GO DOWN

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, bringing the total number of people enrolled in exchange plans to about 30 million in that year.” [Congressional Budget Office, 11/18/09]

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]

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]

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]

Small Business Majority Study: Reform Will Reduce The Cost To Small Businesses Of Providing Health Care. “Comprehensive healthcare reform… will reduce the cost to small businesses of providing health insurance to their employees.” [The Economic Impact of Healthcare Reform on Small Business, 6/11/09]

Small Business Majority Study: Small Businesses Will “Likely Fare Better” Under The Reforms Being Debated In Washington. “Small businesses in the United States are suffering great harm under our current healthcare system will likely fare far better under a substantially reformed system along the lines of what is currently being debated in Washington.” [The Economic Impact of Healthcare Reform on Small Business, 6/11/09]

REALITY: REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION WILL COST JOBS AND INCREASE COSTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

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]

WSJ: More Than Three Times As Many Small Businesses Are Considering Eliminating Health Insurance Coverage This Year, Compared To 2005. “Health-insurance premiums for single workers rose 74% for small businesses from 2001 to 2008, the latest year data are available, according to nonprofit research group Kaiser Family Foundation. About 10% of small businesses are considering eliminating coverage over the next year, up from 3% in 2005, according to a recent survey by National Small Business Association. That follows earlier declines in coverage, with just 38% of small businesses providing health insurance last year compared to 61% in 1993, according to the trade group. In 2007, 41% offered coverage. A Hewitt Associates survey found that 19% of all companies plan to stop providing health-care benefits in the next three to five years.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/26/09]

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]

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 Economic Impact of Healthcare Reform on Small Business, 6/11/09]

CEA Report: Slowing Health Care Cost Growth Would Add 500,000 Jobs Each Year. In a report on the economic impact of health care reform, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors wrote that, “[s]lowing cost growth would lower the unemployment rate…the beneficial impact on employment in the short and medium run (relative to the no-reform baseline) is estimated to be approximately 500,000 each year that the effect is felt.” [CEA Health Care Report, 6/2/09]

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