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Louisiana Business Owners Seek Insurance Reform

Business owners call for lower insurance costs

Louisiana business owners are desperate for cuts in small business insurance costs, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship said this week.

The committee released several letters written by Louisiana entrepreneurs to local newspapers. A New Orleans small business owner, Maude Varela, said she had “experienced first-hand how broken our healthcare system is.” She wanted to be able to offer insurance to employees but said the cost was too high.

Another entrepreneur, Mecheall Williams from Bossier City, said that “because [she] can’t afford to provide insurance, it is that much harder for [her] business to grow and compete.”

And Mary Black of Baton Rouge cited a 2008 report from the Center for American Progress, which said that small business owners and employees make up “the largest share of the uninsured population” – 27 million of the 47 million Americans without health insurance.

Under the current healthcare reform proposals, small groups businesses with fewer than 50 employees) should not see an increase in their insurance costs, the Government Accountability Office says. Tax credits for some businesses would effectively cut the cost of small business insurance by 50 percent.

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Posted: December 9, 2009

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