Small business advocate blasts health reform bill

Small business advocate Karen Kerrigan on Monday blasted Democratic leaders for saying the health reform package that is making its way through Congress would help small businesses. 

"The legislation will burden small business owners with crushing taxes and costs," she said in prepared remarks. "It will not lower the cost of health coverage. It will kill jobs. It imposes a new mandate on the self-employed to purchase government-approved coverage whether they can afford it or not. Alongside its costly employer mandates and new regulatory burdens, it is fiscally irresponsible. Small business owners got tiny scraps from this legislation, which in no way make up for the crushing taxes and burdens they will face if the bill is fully implemented."

Kerrigan is president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, an 80,000-member organization. 

Democratic leaders in Congress and at the White House have said that tax credits contained in the health reform package will help small businesses better afford employee coverage. They have also touted the health "exchanges" created by the bill as havens for small companies who can't afford to insure workers.

"Such statements are pure fantasy," Kerrigan said. 

The Council looks rescind pieces of the legislation that affect small businesses. 

"We look forward to working with our small business allies in efforts to reverse this massive legislative mistake," she said.