As an owner of a small business, I’ve about had it with the ways small businesses are being used to argue against health care reform. It’s clear to me that the folks making these arguments have no real experience with running a small businesses. And they certainly don't know how hard it is for a small business to navigate through our current health “system.”
Yet the folks in Congress who make the most noise about how important small businesses and entrepreneurs are for our economy--and they are right about that--are the same ones who are using the small business banner to try to beat back health reform. Talk about the importance of small and start-up businesses is cheap. As an owner of a small business myself, I know that walking the walk is something else.
So with the prospects for health care reform uncertain and the economy still in the tank, I figure this is the perfect time for Congress to demonstrate how much it really appreciates small business--with what I’m calling The Congressional Small and Start Up Businesses Health Care Bill (C-STUB).
The idea of C-STUB is to reform Congress’ own health care before they reform ours. C-STUB would simply replace Congress’s current government health insurance policies with the policies currently available to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
First, to assign health insurance coverage, congressional delegations from each state would participate in a lottery. Half of the delegations would be assigned to form small groups, just like small businesses, and then they would go out on the market and find health insurance policies for their small group. Members of the other delegations would act like entrepreneurs, and they would go to the market to find individual health insurance policies.
I’ll guarantee that within weeks of C-STUB’s passage, there will be overwhelming bipartisan support for health care reform. The delegations in small groups will find they have no leverage with health insurance providers, and they’ll end up paying a small fortune for inadequate coverage. Most of those assigned to get individual policies--the entrepreneurs--will find themselves unable to get health insurance at all. These poor souls will end up crowding into the ER waiting rooms of DC area hospitals.
It’s time to call Congress’ bluff on health care. Reform Congress’ health care first! Write your congressman or congresswoman (email addresses available at http://www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html).