Senator Bond has blasted the Democrats’ plan to reform health care, saying it by-passes some simple solutions that would go a long way to covering a majority of Americans who are now uninsured.
Bond, a Republican, took to the floor of the Senate to criticize Democrats for neglecting a major player in the health care debate.
“Small businesses drive this economy,” Bond told colleagues. “They’re also the sector most in need of real health reform that will reduce costs and make it easier to buy insurance.”
Bond said that 26 million uninsured Americans own small businesses, work for them or are the dependants of their employees. A few changes would help, he said, such as allowing small businesses to pool resources, spread risks and reduce the cost of health care benefits. Bond also says small businesses should get the same tax breaks corporations and unions get.
Bond ran through a list of small business owners in Missouri who have struggled to provide health care coverage for their employees, such as Jim Henderson, president of Dynamic Sales in St. Louis who Bond said wants reform that lowers costs and helps individuals spend their healthcare dollars better. Bond read from a letter on the Senate bill from Randy Angst of Lebanon.
“The new taxes would eliminate roughly half of my profits. It would force me to let employees go, refrain from hiring new employees and prevent me from re-investing in my business. The mandates would be very harmful and make it much more costly for me to operate my business.”
Others also claim health care legislation begin considered in Congress would cost jobs.
Bond criticized Democratic leaders in Congress not just for neglecting small businesses, but for adding to their burden.
“Instead of proposing common sense health care solutions for small businesses, the bills that we’ve seen coming out of the smoke-filled rooms run by the Majority Leader continue to heap costly new burdens on small businesses, trying to keep their doors open,” Bond stated.
Senate Democrats have stated a tentative agreement has been reached that would resolve a disagreement over a proposed government-run health plan, the so-called public option. The talks have been taking place in an effort to secure the 60 votes needed to push a bill through the Senate. Other sticking points are the cost of the bill, expected to total close to $1 trillion and disagreement over abortion funding. Senate debate on health care has stretched out over 10 days so far.
Listen to Sen. Bond’s floor speech.