Obama pitches small businesses on reform

Pulling together enough a coalition to support health reform is a Herculean task, even for a young, vital president elected by a significant majority. So it's no surprise that as final health reform votes come closer, President Obama must keep up a world-class selling schedule.

This week, Obama focused his efforts on small business owners, telling them that Democratic health reform efforts would give millions of businesses new tax credits to pay for insurance. He told them that the smallest firms would shave off about 25 percent from their costs.

This is a hard group to win over, as many small businesses have argued that they simply can't afford to cover healthcare for employees. As the president noted, family premiums have shot up dramatically in recent times--by more than 130 percent over the past ten years alone. What's more, small businesses pay up to 18 percent more than larger ones for their coverage, due in part to having smaller risk pools to offer insurers.

If Obama could win over the small businesses, it would be quite a coup for the administration. However, many are likely to remain unmoved, as they're skeptical that subsidies will provide enough financial support.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Kaiser Health News piece

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