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Vote for Healthcare Relief This Election Year

Author: Dan Danner Date: March 17, 2014

Small business needs representatives who will work to fix the healthcare law’s problems.

The bad news is that it’s an election year. Politicians, especially in Washington, D.C., are unlikely to make any progress on various pressing issues.

The good news is that it’s an election year. Your representatives in Congress want to be re-elected, so they’re more open than usual to your feedback and ideas.

Another way to put it: Election years are the ultimate time of accountability in our country. They are the years when elected officials are most aware of the fact that we, the people, have the power to fire them.

I know the new healthcare law is causing problems for most—if not all—of you. We hear from NFIB members every day whose health insurance plans have been canceled and who are facing astronomical premium cost increases. As of this year, you’re also prohibited from offering tax-free reimbursement for employees to purchase coverage that fits their needs in the individual market—something that one in seven NFIB members used to do.

Many of you renewed your existing plans early to avoid the price increases, but, as you know, that trick will only last for one more year. Starting in 2015, you will have to buy a plan that meets highly regulated government benefit standards. There will be limitations on flexible options like lower-premium plans that have high deductibles. You’ll have to choose between selecting a high-premium, high-deductible plan or going uninsured and paying a penalty to Uncle Sam.

There is no question that this issue impacts the small business community more than any other. You make up the bulk of the purchasers within the small-group and individual insurance marketplaces, and those are the marketplaces that are experiencing a cost explosion.

Members of Congress and the Obama administration are reading about your pain in the newspapers, but nothing is more powerful than hearing from you directly. Write a letter, make a phone call or send an email. If you use social media, tweet your Congress members or post on their Facebook pages. Let them know that you will be entering the ballot booth in November with one thing in mind: Who is going to give you relief when it comes to healthcare?

At NFIB, we will be shouting that message from the rooftops. We’ll be keeping track and taking names. The NFIB SAFE Trust PAC will strongly support the candidates who are dedicated to relief and oppose those who aren’t. We will make sure that everyone running for federal office knows that, for small business, it’s all about healthcare.

There is no better time than now for your voices to be heard. We’ll be here all the way, turning up the volume. Let’s make 2014 count by firing politicians who don’t understand small business and hiring people who do. It’s accountability time.

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Are you or another NFIB member you know running for Congress this year? We want to know. Potential federal candidates should contact Kara McKenna, NFIB’s political programs manager, at kara.mckenna@NFIB.org. NFIB members running for state offices should contact their respective state directors, whose contact information is available at www.NFIB.com/mystate.

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