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PRESIDENT'S HEALTH CARE PLAN DRAWS MIXED RESPONSE FROM SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Asserting that small business owners need and want major reforms to the U.S. health care system, National Small Business United (NSBU) expressed appreciation for President Clinton's efforts to address this critical concern.
 "We applaud the administration's goals of reducing health care costs and expanding access to coverage," stated John C. Rennie, NSBU president and owner of Pacer Systems, Inc. in Billerica, Mass. "NSBU is eager for fundamental reform and we hope to contribute to the national debate that has been launched with the announcement of the administration's health care reform proposal."
 Rennie stressed the need for the administration and Congress to stay focused on reform methods which have been proven to work, which deliver access for all and which contain costs.
 He also expressed concern that several aspects of the Clinton health care reform proposal would be harmful to small business job creation.
 "NSBU is opposed to employer mandates, which will cost jobs, reduce wages and inevitably lead to an unfair system of targeted employer subsidies, unfairly pitting one business against another," said Rennie. "We urge the administration to recognize that imposing an employer mandate runs the risk of creating a recession by reducing employment."
 Rennie further objected to the administration's proposal to establish a payroll-based premium, which requires all businesses to pay a percentage of payroll into the health care system.
 "This actually is a payroll tax, which is the most harmful tax that can be levied on small businesses," said Rennie. "Payroll taxes must be paid regardless of whether a company makes a profit or not. Furthermore, once this tax is in place, employers will be helpless to change it or to prevent it from increasing."
 NSBU is also opposed to the type of monopolistic health care alliances which would be created under President Clinton's health care plan.
 "Under the Clinton plan, these alliances would be the only path to health care for small businesses," stated Rennie. "The administration claims the plan will take care of small business needs, but what small business wants are the tools to form their own privately managed, competing purchasing cooperatives. NSBU supports government action which would empower small businesses to collectively purchase health care and gain clout in the market place."
 Rennie also stated that NSBU supports reform of the insurance industry to address the underwriting and rating issues that deny small business owners access to affordable health care coverage.
 "We are pleased that the Clinton Plan is finally being unveiled and we hope to work with the administration and with Congress to find workable solutions to these problems," said Rennie. "We commend the president for facing up to a very difficult problem and we believe that a 'political window of opportunity' now exists to make some very important reforms to our health care system."
 National Small Business United is a private, non-profit association, representing more than 65,000 business owners throughout the United States. Placing a key emphasis on small business advocacy, NSBU takes a bi-partisan approach to working with members of Congress and other elected officials to improve the economic climate for small business survival and growth.
 -0- 9/22/93
 /CONTACT: Marcia Bradford of National Small Business United, 202-293-8830/


CO: National Small Business United ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: EXE

KD-DS -- DC006 -- 4534 09/22/93 09:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 22, 1993
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