WIPP Details Position on Healthcare Reform
Friday, July 10, 2009
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Regina Sullivan
WIPP DETAILS POSITION ON HEALTHCARE REFORM
Washington, D.C. - July 9, 2009 - Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), a national bi-partisan public policy organization of over 500,000 members who advocate for and on behalf of women and minority small business owners and serve as the umbrella organization for 49 national Women in Business groups, called on Congress to enact healthcare reform and endorsed a set of guidelines for that legislation.
There are 46.6 million uninsured Americans, 60% of whom are employed by a small business or are a dependent of someone employed by a small business. In laying out their guidelines, WIPP President Barbara Kasoff reiterated the need for reform. “We believe that the need for healthcare reform has never been stronger. Small business owners have been calling for reform for many years because healthcare plans have not been affordable or accessible. Over 72% of our members in our 2009 Annual Survey called on Congress to pass comprehensive healthcare reform."
A key component of the WIPP plan is the need to increase access to small and individual insurance markets. For that reason, WIPP endorses the SHOP Act, S. 979, as introduced by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Lincoln (R-AR), and Snowe (R-ME), and H.R. 2360, as introduced by Representative Kind (D-WI), which would establish a National purchasing pool. Additionally, WIPP is supportive of state-based exchange programs; however, critical to their success is the inclusion of private nationwide plans for businesses that have 100 employees or less.
"We support an individual requirement for coverage but not an employer mandate for small business, as we cannot be certain that reform will give us the lower rates we need to offer insurance," WIPP President Kasoff added.
Tax credits for small business owners who offer their employees healthcare should also be included in the healthcare reform legislation. In WIPP's 2009 annual survey of their membership, over 64% of the respondents believe a tax credit would allow them to continue or provide insurance to their employees. WIPP strongly opposes taxation of employees’ health benefits, which would have a chilling effect on the ability of employers to offer health insurance. In addition, WIPP does not support a cap on employee premium deductions because there is not enough evidence that it would create downward pressure on premiums. Small business owners would also benefit from a simplified enrollment process, the utilization of small business organizations and a web portal to assist them in choosing benefit plans.
In addition to these principles, WIPP also reiterated four related goals which were included in their Economic Blueprint - The Women Business Owners' Platform for Growth that was released last year. Those principles include: establishment of an interconnected, nationwide health technology system; an increase in the number of healthcare providers; promotion of healthy employees; and, if needed, the establishment of a Healthcare Reform Commission.
"WIPP has worked to provide Congress and the Administration with concrete proposals that represent the needs of small business owners all over the United States. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration on making them a reality,” Kasoff said.
Click here to read WIPP's complete statement on healthcare reform.
Women Impacting Public Policy is a non-profit, national bipartisan group with over half-a-million members. WIPP is The Collective Voice in Washington, DC, for 48 national women and small business organizations. WIPP advocates for and on behalf of women and minorities in business in the legislative processes of our nation, creating economic opportunities for members and building alliances with other small business organizations. WIPP recently issued its Economic Blueprint which serves as a call to action to the Congress and Administration on the six core areas essential to women-owned business growth: healthcare, procurement, taxes, access to capital, energy and telecommunications. Visit www.WIPP.org.