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Action Alert: Harmful Health Care Legislation Moving in U.S. Senate

Dec. 14, 2009

The Senate is currently debating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3950), legislation introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and one or more key procedural votes on the bill is expected to take place in the near future. NRCA urges all members to contact their Senators to register strong opposition to this legislation.

The enactment of legislation to expand access to affordable health insurance, particularly for small businesses, has been a priority for NRCA for many years. Unfortunately, though H.R. 3950 contains a few of the insurance market reforms NRCA and other small-business organizations have sought, any potential savings from these reforms are more than outweighed by the bill's massive expansion of government programs, onerous mandates and increased taxes. NRCA and the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare believe H.R. 3950 could increase health insurance costs for many employers, small businesses in particular.

Contact your Senators and urge them to oppose H.R. 3950 because:
  • It imposes a new $6.7 billion annual tax that will fall almost exclusively on small businesses that purchase coverage in the fully insured market.
  • It requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer “government-approved” health benefits or pay new penalties if they cannot afford to provide coverage.
  • It fails to provide meaningful reform for many small businesses that now have great difficulty finding affordable health insurance coverage.
  • It contains a huge expansion of government entitlement programs that will significantly increase the federal deficit.
  • It fails to contain meaningful medical liability reform to curb frivolous lawsuits that are one of the biggest drivers of rising health care costs.
Contact your senators by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121; ask for the senator's office and register your strong opposition to H.R. 3950 by using the script below. Or you may contact your senators by e-mail or fax by going to their Web sites, which can be found at www.senate.gov and clicking on Find Your Senator in the upper- right corner. You can use the bullet points included in this Action Alert or the telephone script below. Calls and e-mails should be directed to senators as long as the Senate continues debating health care reform legislation, which will be at least through Dec. 18. Below is a target list of senators who currently may be undecided about this legislation; they should receive the most contacts. If you are located in any of these states, NRCA strongly encourages you to contact these senators. For more information or if you have questions, please contact Duane Musser, NRCA's vice president of government relations, at (202) 546-7584 or dmusser@nrca.net. Thank you!

Senate Target List

Alaska: Mark Begich (D)
Arkansas: Blanche Lincoln (D) and David Pryor (D)
Colorado: Michael Bennett (D)
Connecticut: Joe Lieberman (Ind)
Indiana: Evan Bayh (D)
Louisiana: Mary Landrieu (D)
Maine: Susan Collins (R) and Olympia Snowe (R)
Nebraska: Ben Nelson (D)
North Dakota: Kent Conrad (D)
Virginia: Mark Warner (D) and Jim Webb (D)

H.R. 3950 Telephone Script

Hello, my name is _________, and I am a small-business owner in (City, State).

I am calling (insert senator's name) to ask that he (or she) oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3950). This legislation fails to address the core challenge facing small businesses—rising health care costs.

I do not support legislation that combines billions in new taxes and mandates on small businesses that can least afford it, as well as a huge expansion of government programs that will add to the federal deficit. This approach will make it even harder for me to invest in my business and create new jobs.

I completely agree that something needs to be done to improve the system. But this bill doesn't enact the solutions that make health care more affordable for small business; instead it saddles small-business owners with new taxes, new mandates and hinders job growth and business success—exactly what we don't need in a time when unemployment is at a 25-year high!

As a constituent and contributor to our local economy, I ask (insert senator's name) to oppose H.R. 3950 and instead construct a bill that leads to lower health care costs, more choice and greater competition for private insurance. Thank you.

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