More than 60 small business owners attended a seminar on the impact of health care reform on their companies and employees at a luncheon held at the Hub Cities One-Stop Career Center in Huntington Park. Congresswoman Roybal-Allard was joined in the discussion by David Chase, California Outreach Director for the Small Business Majority.
Good afternoon and thank you for being here for today’s discussion on the impact on small business of the new Health Care Reform Law. Let me begin by thanking Alberto Uribe, Joe Martinez and the HUB Cities Consortium for hosting today’s luncheon.
I also thank Efren Martinez, Victor Caballero and the Florence-Firestone Chamber of Commerce for helping to make this event possible. This is my second small business briefing on the Affordable Care Act for the small businesses in the 34th Congressional District.
The first was hosted by the LA Area Chamber of Commerce in July 2010 when the regulations for the bill were beginning to be written. The July briefing presented the first opportunity for businesses in our 34th CD to learn about the new law and to express their concerns before regulations were finalized and they could still be addressed.
Then, last November, I stopped by the Florence-Firestone Chamber of Commerce and I had a good conversation with Efren about the needs of our small businesses. That conversation led to other discussions with the neighboring chambers and ultimately resulted in today’s collaborative event between the Florence-Firestone Chamber, the Commerce Industrial Council Chamber of Commerce, the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce and the Huntington Park Chamber of Commerce.
This collaboration is very significant because it helps strengthen the ability of the individual chambers to realize their goals and objectives for their small business community and gives you, our small business community the opportunity to receive concrete information on how the health care reform law will impact you and your business.
Before I introduce our guest speaker I would like to briefly review why health care reform was needed in the first place.
At the time of the debate over 46 million people lacked health insurance and access to basic health care. The cost of health care was sky rocketing and there were no affordable alternatives to individuals who lacked proper health coverage such as those who were being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or being dropped from their insurance plan because their illness was becoming too costly to their insurance.
As a result of those factors, small businesses able to offer health insurance to their employees dropped almost 8% in the last decade. Since the year 2000, insurance costs for small businesses have increased 129% and small business workers are paying an average of 18% more in premiums with deductibles more than double than large firms for the same benefits.
Simply put, even though our approaches to health reform varied we know the status quo was and is unsustainable and that reform was essential.
Members of Congress also understand that our economy lies in the success of our country’s small business community.
The small business community which is the economic engine of our national economy has so much at stake in the implementation process. Therefore it is imperative that Congress continues to dialogue with you to learn from you about what is working and what is not and to keep you informed about the laws we pass so you can make informed decisions and plans for a successful business.
Your success is our country’s success. To provide you with information you need on the Health Care Reform law and to answer your questions, we are fortunate to have with us today David Chase, the California Outreach Director for the Small Business Majority, thank you for flying down from Sacramento to join us today.
The Small Business Majority was founded by small business owners to provide an impartial view of the issues that have the greatest impact on small businesses. Most recently their focus has been finding a solution to the skyrocketing health insurance costs small firms have been facing over the past several years. David runs the Small Business Majority’s Sacramento office and builds relationships with small business organizations and owners across California. Prior to joining the Small Business Majority, he worked for more than four years in the office of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and was part of the team responsible for building the coalition behind the Governor’s 2007 comprehensive healthcare reform proposal. David is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento with a degree in mass media communications. David, thank you once again for providing your presentation and for breaking down how the new law will affect our businesses.
I am certain that we all have a lot to learn from your presentation and we both will learn from listening to the Small Businesses who are here today.