Small Business Owners Sound Off on Health Care Reform

In his speech to Congress two weeks ago, President Obama made a strong sell to small business owners that his health care reform plan would be blessing, not a curse, for them.  Indeed, the President directly addressed "small businesses" no fewer than nine times in his speech.  Now that small business owners have heard from the President, it's time for the President to finally listen to small business owners.

The O'Leary Report recently teamed up with Zogby International to poll small business owners and officers to see what they think about various topics that are central to the health care reform debate.  The results show why President Obama zeroed-in on small businesses in his nationally televised sales pitch.  (The poll was conducted September 4-8 and surveyed 4,426 likely voters.  The margin-of-error is plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage point.  The size of the small business owner subsample 909. Readers may take the poll themselves at http://www.healthcarevote.com/ and email their answers to their congressmen and senators.).

A strong majority of small business owners (55 percent) think "expanding government's role in health care will do more harm than good."  Conversely, only 38 percent think that a bigger government role "is necessary to control costs and expand coverage." 

Seventy-seven percent of small business owners reject the idea of taxing employer-provided health care benefits, while only 13 percent support the idea.  A strong majority of small business owners (67 percent) also reject the creation of an "employer mandate" that would force small businesses to provide health insurance to their employees or face a fine.

Small business owners also oppose, 57 to 41 percent, the creation of a so-called "public option," or government health plan designed to "compete" with private health insurers.

When asked if they support or oppose a government-run health care system where the federal government pays for and provides health care for all Americans, 65 percent of small business owners said they oppose such a system, while only 32 percent support it. 

A whopping 79 percent of small business owners reject the idea of raising taxes to fund a government health insurance program for the roughly 26 million Americans who can afford to purchase health insurance, but choose not to, and the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in America who lack health insurance.

But opposition is not the only order of the day when it comes to small business owners and health care reform.  The trouble for them, and President Obama for that matter, is that the two reforms small business owners overwhelming support are not championed by the President and the Democratic leadership in Congress - namely, tort reform and making it possible for Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines.

Eighty-four percent of small business owners support permitting Americans to shop for health insurance from providers located outside their home state, and eighty-one percent agree that tort reform is needed to rein-in the rising cost of medical malpractice insurance.

President Obama rarely misses an opportunity to publicly praise small business owners as the lifeblood the American economy and the driving force behind job creation.  Considering the health care industry represents one-sixth of the our economy, shouldn't the President spend more time listening to the concerns of small businesses, as opposed to trying to sell them a health care plan they clearly don't want?

Brad O'Leary is publisher of "The O'Leary Report," a bestselling author, and is a former NBC Westwood One talk show host.  To let your Congressman and Senators know where you stand on 14 critical health care reform issues, go to http://www.healthcarevote.com/.
In his speech to Congress two weeks ago, President Obama made a strong sell to small business owners that his health care reform plan would be blessing, not a curse, for them.  Indeed, the President directly addressed "small businesses" no fewer than nine times in his speech.  Now that small business owners have heard from the President, it's time for the President to finally listen to small business owners.

The O'Leary Report recently teamed up with Zogby International to poll small business owners and officers to see what they think about various topics that are central to the health care reform debate.  The results show why President Obama zeroed-in on small businesses in his nationally televised sales pitch.  (The poll was conducted September 4-8 and surveyed 4,426 likely voters.  The margin-of-error is plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage point.  The size of the small business owner subsample 909. Readers may take the poll themselves at http://www.healthcarevote.com/ and email their answers to their congressmen and senators.).

A strong majority of small business owners (55 percent) think "expanding government's role in health care will do more harm than good."  Conversely, only 38 percent think that a bigger government role "is necessary to control costs and expand coverage." 

Seventy-seven percent of small business owners reject the idea of taxing employer-provided health care benefits, while only 13 percent support the idea.  A strong majority of small business owners (67 percent) also reject the creation of an "employer mandate" that would force small businesses to provide health insurance to their employees or face a fine.

Small business owners also oppose, 57 to 41 percent, the creation of a so-called "public option," or government health plan designed to "compete" with private health insurers.

When asked if they support or oppose a government-run health care system where the federal government pays for and provides health care for all Americans, 65 percent of small business owners said they oppose such a system, while only 32 percent support it. 

A whopping 79 percent of small business owners reject the idea of raising taxes to fund a government health insurance program for the roughly 26 million Americans who can afford to purchase health insurance, but choose not to, and the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in America who lack health insurance.

But opposition is not the only order of the day when it comes to small business owners and health care reform.  The trouble for them, and President Obama for that matter, is that the two reforms small business owners overwhelming support are not championed by the President and the Democratic leadership in Congress - namely, tort reform and making it possible for Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines.

Eighty-four percent of small business owners support permitting Americans to shop for health insurance from providers located outside their home state, and eighty-one percent agree that tort reform is needed to rein-in the rising cost of medical malpractice insurance.

President Obama rarely misses an opportunity to publicly praise small business owners as the lifeblood the American economy and the driving force behind job creation.  Considering the health care industry represents one-sixth of the our economy, shouldn't the President spend more time listening to the concerns of small businesses, as opposed to trying to sell them a health care plan they clearly don't want?

Brad O'Leary is publisher of "The O'Leary Report," a bestselling author, and is a former NBC Westwood One talk show host.  To let your Congressman and Senators know where you stand on 14 critical health care reform issues, go to http://www.healthcarevote.com/.