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House on small business health care

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: A House committee is taking up the issue of health care today. Lawmakers will specifically look at the challenge small businesses face to cover their employees. Mitchell Hartman has this report from the Entrepreneurship Desk at Oregon Public Broadcasting.


Mitchell Hartman: A parade of witnesses will talk about how expensive it is to offer insurance, which is why 4 in 10 small companies don't. Some reformers want to make employers provide insurance or pay into a government fund.

Susan Eckerly is with the National Federation of Independent Business:

Susan Eckerly: We're definitely watching for that, that this will be the solution, is a mandate on employers to offer and to pay for health insurance, and that's not something we can support.

Eckerly's group does support allowing small businesses to form purchasing pools and buy insurance across state lines to keep costs down.

John Spurrell owns a small construction company in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The reform he wants: Take employers out of the equation entirely.

John Spurrell: What we need in this country more than anything is some sort of universal care to get that monkey off the back of small business.

Small business lobby groups aren't likely to join this clarion call if it means a single-payer system run and paid for by the government.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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