September 5, 2008
Conventions Conclude, Fall Campaign Begins
WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the general election campaign begins in earnest today, the National Federation of Independent Business (http://www.nfib.com/) is looking to the two presidential candidates for a greater focus on the healthcare concerns of small business. Now that the Democratic and Republican conventions are over, NFIB is asking both candidates to fully consider the significant obstacles faced by small businesses as they further develop their healthcare plans.
"NFIB is pleased that Senator McCain and Senator Obama recognize that rising healthcare costs are hurting America's job creators," said NFIB President and CEO Todd Stottlemyer. "But over the next 60 days, we expect more details about how the healthcare plans of both presidential candidates can help solve the healthcare crisis that is strangling small businesses across the country. These small employers are counting on the next president and administration to address their unique healthcare challenges."
Of the 47 million uninsured Americans in 2006(1), 28 million were small business owners, employees or their dependents(2). Rising healthcare costs, a major impediment for millions of Americans seeking healthcare coverage, have a disproportionate effect on small business. Small employers, who represent 99.7 percent of employers, pay an average of 18 percent more for insurance premiums than larger firms.
Ruth Novodor, a small business owner and NFIB board member, spoke at the Republican National Convention earlier this week and Janet Lynn Monacco spoke during the Democratic National Convention last week. Both women reinforced the important role of small business in our country's economy and the urgent need to address rising healthcare costs. Their remarks should serve as a reminder to both presidential candidates that small business men and women are a significant voting bloc and their unique circumstances must be fully considered in any proposed healthcare reform legislation.
"NFIB will continue to reach out to both presidential candidates through the Solutions Start Here(SM) campaign. We will continue to invite them to meet with us and offer insight from our members about how to design a healthcare reform package that works for small business," said Stottlemyer. "As the voice of this unique constituency, we will continue to push both presidential candidates to offer more specifics on their healthcare proposals and urge them to sign our Small Business Healthcare Petition (http://www.fixedforamerica.com/petition/)signifying their commitment to providing real and workable solutions to these men and women. Because when healthcare is fixed for small business, it will be fixed for America."
Access to affordable healthcare is an issue that crosses the political aisle, and 80 percent of small business owners agree that "it is important to me to vote for a presidential candidate whose healthcare plan makes sense for small business." This is why in late 2007, NFIB announced its Small Business Principles for Healthcare Reform to articulate its commitment to creating legislation that is, among other things, universal, private, affordable and portable. These 10 guiding principles serve as the foundation for Solutions Start Here(SM), NFIB's national campaign urging policymakers to deliver real and meaningful healthcare reform for small business.
Solutions Start Here is a campaign developed and led by NFIB and its members as the small business platform for healthcare reform. By working to engage and educate policymakers about the unique healthcare issues faced by small business, Solutions Start Here will drive and integrate the concerns and needs of America's small business community into the national health reform debate. Because when healthcare is fixed for small business, it's fixed for America. For more information visit http://www.fixedforamerica.com/.
NFIB is the nation's leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB's powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America's free enterprise system. http://www.nfib.com/
NFIB's mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at http://www.nfib.com/newsroom.
(1) http://www.census.gov/ (2006 data)
(2) http://www.ebri.org/ (2006 data)
National Federation of Independent Business
CONTACT: Stephanie Cathcart of the National Federation of IndependentBusiness, +1-202-314-2056
Web Site: http://www.fixedforamerica.com/http://www.nfib.com/