Yarmuth: House Dems' health bill 'greatest thing' for small business

The House Democrats' healthcare reform bill is "the greatest thing" to come along for small business, on Democratic lawmaker claimed Wednesday.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), a key House centrist whose vote could be decisive in passing healthcare legislation, took aim at a central claim of Republican opponents of the legislation, who allege that the surtax on the wealthy contained in the package would disproportionately hurt small business.

"This is the greatest thing for small business that ever came down the road," Yarmuth said during an appearance on the Fox Business Network.

"What we're trying to do is make an option available, a plan so that competition brings prices down, small businesses will be able to provide insurance and afford insurance for their employees," Yarmuth said in defense of the plan introduced yesterday. "And if they can't, then they can go into the marketplace and buy affordable insurance for themselves."

The House bill creates a public (or "government-run") option for consumers, and includes a surtax on top earners to help finance the system.

"What we're proposing is to start acting right now to bring down costs," Yarmuth argued. "What we're asking the very wealthiest Americans to do is to give up some of those Bush tax cuts to help pay for the system."