Since the New York Times has pretty much become the official media outlet of this administration, I presume that this article represents a new trial balloon in selling government health care. The pitch this time -- its good for small businesses! (via Maggies Farm)
President Obama, in his Saturday radio address, said the Democrats' health insurance overhaul would help small businesses and stimulate the economy by providing relief from "the crushing costs of health care "” costs that have forced too many small businesses to cut benefits, shed jobs, or shut their doors for good."....
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, said the sharp rise in premiums for small businesses offered the latest evidence that Congress must act swiftly on health care legislation.
"This underlines the urgent need for health insurance reform, including a public option," she said in an interview. "We need to have competition for the insurance companies to keep premiums down."
I am only now getting through the 1500 pages of this bill (putting me ahead of Ms. Pelosi in reading it, I am sure), but the last House bill would have been a disaster for my company, increasing taxes on wages by up to 8% and imposing a record-keeping burden that was just horrific.
The NYT and the Democrats are apparently trying to set up a mini-class war within bussinesses, snidely saying these companies have more negotiating leverage. Sure. But what they have even more of is the leverage to shape federal legislation to their benefit. However worse a deal my company may get in free insurance markets due to being small is nothing compared to how much worse of a deal we will get from Congress by being small.
If they really wanted to cut costs for small businesses, they would strip out all the national and state coverage mandates for things like aromatherapy that raise costs so much and let me shop for insurance across state lines. That would be real competition. Unfortunately, all Pelosi means by competition is throwing Amtrak into the mix to compete with the airlines. Yeah, that will do the trick.