Letters to the Editor

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TERRI HAMMERSMITH

Bristow, Va.

Health care for small business

Because I am a health economist, I started reading “The cost of health care for small business” (Op-Ed, Friday) but was taken aback to discover that it was written in politically correct congressional speak. This is the elaborate language our representatives and senators use in addressing “we the people.” It knows no political or philosophical school of thought. Pandering comes from both sides of the congressional aisle. What this language does is hide its own message by using gushing sentences such as, “The key to health care reform is to provide every American with access to quality, affordable care that protects the doctor-patient relationship.” Or, “American families and businesses have struggled long enough under the weight of rising health care costs.”Please. These are platitudes, not a serious discussion of health care issues and what can be done about them. Thank goodness that when I turned back the page, I saw some real down-to-earth editorial analysis by Cal Thomas, Arnaud de Borchgrave, Walter Williams, etc.

So senators and Congress members, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, but these politically correct columns make it seem that you’re trying.

AL PEDEN

Frederick, Md.

It’s encouraging to see Sens. Richard Burr and Lamar Alexander recognize that accessing and purchasing quality, affordable health insurance has placed a tremendous burden on America’s small businesses. (“The cost of health care for small business,” Op-Ed, Friday) They understand that small business has been hit the hardest by the health care crisis and is disproportionately struggling with health care costs.

It’s time all of our country’s policy-makers and legislators recognize the unique concerns of small businesses and make sure their needs are considered in this year’s health reform debate. That’s why the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recently introduced Solutions Start Here, a national campaign to engage the small-business community, policy influencers and key stakeholders in a robust dialogue about the health care needs of small-business owners and employees. Our Small Business Principles for Healthcare Reform, the foundation of the campaign, will serve as guiding principles and help articulate our commitment to creating reform that is, among other things, universal, affordable, competitive and portable.

To show our solidarity on this issue, NFIB created a petition calling for policy-makers to consider the unique needs of small businesses when addressing health care reform. We will continue to engage diverse stakeholders in this issue at every level to ensure that small business owners and their employees have affordable options for health care. As Sens. Burr and Alexander said, American families and businesses, especially small businesses, are feeling the pinch.

Let’s make sure the job creators of America’s small businesses no longer feel that pinch and have the access to affordable health care options they rightly deserve.

AMANDA AUSTIN

NFIB senior manager, legislative affairs

National Federation of Independent Business

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