WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 16, 2009 - Dan Danner, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's leading small business association, issued the following statement in response to the Chairman's Mark:
"NFIB thanks the chairman for his continued commitment working to create reforms that provide more affordable and accessible healthcare options for small employers and their employees. Meaningful health reform is critical to the livelihood of America's entrepreneurs and we appreciate Chairman Baucus' efforts to keep small business' needs a high priority in the health reform debate.
"We believe the individual and small group insurance market reforms, as well as the framework for the health insurance exchange offer a thoughtful and important step toward some of the reforms so badly needed by small businesses and their employees. Also important are provisions that create broader risk pools across state lines and new ways to offer competitive benefit packages on a national level.
"There are many areas yet to be defined and some that still cause concern for small business. In particular, we must revise the structure of the tax credit to ensure its viability, examine the construct of healthcare cooperatives and how government seed money can and will be used, and not expand tax reporting requirements that will increase the paperwork burden on small business owners.
"We believe this proposal looks at the markets where small firms buy health insurance, and it makes significant steps to reform the rules for these markets to help increase choice, competition and, ultimately, reduces costs. This is just the first step in the legislative process and we look forward to working with the chairman and members of the Finance Committee to develop a healthcare reform package that address the needs of small businesses and their employees."