Obama Emphasizes Health-Care Impact on Small Business
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama continued his campaign on behalf of health-care reform Saturday by focusing his radio and Internet address on the impact of insurance costs on small businesses.
The president said that many small businesses are forced to offer less generous health care plans, dropped coverage or shut their doors because they cannot afford the rising cost of care.
"This is unsustainable, it's unacceptable, and it's going to change when I sign health insurance reform into law," he vowed.
The focus on small business is a direct response to Republican attacks, which have focused increasingly on what they say will be the negative effects of a health care overhaul on small business.
The GOP argues that the need to raise taxes to pay for Obama's health-care reform will fall disproportionately on small businesses, forcing them to cut jobs at a time when the economy is reeling.
But Obama countered in his address that the tax increases under consideration by the congressional Democrats will not hit small businesses unfairly.
The president -- who was knocked off his message for two days by the discussion of race sparked by his comments about the arrest of his friend Henry Louis Gates Jr. -- attempted to return to his main point.
"Now I know there are those who are urging us to delay reform. And some of them have actually admitted that this is a tactic designed to stop any reform at all," he said in the radio address. "Some have even suggested that, regardless of its merits, health-care reform should be stopped as a way to inflict political damage on my administration. I'll leave it to them to explain that to the American people."
Posted at 6:00 AM ET on Jul 25, 2009
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