PLEASE TELL CONGRESSMAN COLIN PETERSON
TO OPPOSE THE HOUSE DEMOCRATIC HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL
Background: The House is scheduled to vote on the revised and recently introduced Democratic Health Care Reform bill later this week. This past Thursday, House Democratic Leadership unveiled their revised 1,990 page bill that is the byproduct of months of negotiations between House Democratic Leadership and members of the moderate and progressive factions of their caucus. The revised bill closely resembles the original House Tri-Committee bill that was amended and passed by the three committees of jurisdiction in July. As such, IIABA continues to strongly oppose the bill in its current form.
Congressman Peterson will be a key vote on this bill, and IIABA strongly urges him to oppose the House Democratic Health Care Reform bill.
Agent Concerns: The House Democratic Health Care Reform bill includes a government-run health insurance plan ("public option") that would unfairly compete with the private insurance marketplace, limit consumer choice and increase the taxpayer burden. To finance the government-run health insurance plan, the bill would impose a 5.4% surtax on successful small businesses which file as individuals. On top of the new surtax, the legislation also includes an employer mandate that would force small employers with more than $500,000 in payroll to offer their employees health insurance and subsidize their premiums, 72.5% subsidy for individual plans and 65% for family plans, regardless of their current plans or taking into account what they can actually afford. If a small business is unable to afford or chooses not to comply with this new mandate, they will be subject to an 8% payroll tax.
While the bill does explicitly state that agents and brokers will be allowed to enroll individuals and employers in qualified health benefits plans, including the public option, both inside and outside of the exchange, the legislation creates a new Small Business Administration grant program that would award federal money to non-profits for the purpose of providing small businesses with less than 100 employees assistance with consumer information, outreach, counseling, and enrollment. The new program will cut experienced and educated agents out of the process in favor of random non-profits with no prior health insurance background and give such entities the authority to advise small businesses on their insurance decisions.
Please call Congressman Petersonthis week at the phone number listed below and strongly urge him to oppose the House Democratic Health Care Reform bill. Please also send this grassroots alert to your employees, friends, family, and clients and ask them to call to express their opposition to the House Democratic Health Care Reform bill. After you make the calls, please email email@example.com
to confirm participation and please put the name of your state in the title of the email.
Congressman Colin Peterson (202) 225-2165
*Please note that your call will likely be answered by a staff assistant in the Congressman's office. Please make your message brief and note the following:
1. As an independent insurance agent and Minnesota resident, I strongly urge Congressman Peterson to oppose the House Democratic Health Care Reform bill.
2. The House Democratic bill includes a government-run health insurance plan that will unfairly compete with the private insurance marketplace, limit consumer choice and increase the taxpayer burden.
3. The House Democratic bill is partially financed by levying a 5.4% surtax on successful small businesses who file as individuals. Health care reform should not be financed on the backs of small businesses that are currently struggling to make ends meet.
4. On top of the surtax, the bill also imposes an unreasonable employer mandate that will shrink small business output and force small businesses to cut jobs.
5. Finally, the House bill will cut experienced and educated insurance agents and brokers out of the process of boosting small business health insurance enrollment. Small businesses seeking information on what health insurance plan best fits their needs should be able to count on sound advice from a licensed health insurance agent.
6. I appreciate the Congressman's leadership on this issue. Thank you for listening to my thoughts and please vote "no" on the bill.
*Please remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org
after you make the calls and please put the name of your state in the title of the email.