Today, shortly after President Obama signed health insurance reform into law, Paul Hodes discussed the immediate benefit to small businesses with two New Hampshire small business owners. On a conference call with reporters, Hodes spoke with Michael St. Germain of Concord Camera and Steve Rand of Rand's Hardware in Plymouth. The small business owners discussed their struggles to pay for health insurance for their employees, and the tax credits and other provisions of health reform that will make providing insurance more affordable.
Hodes said, "Insurance reform will help New Hampshire's small businesses create jobs for middle class families. For far too long, our small businesses have struggled under the weight of sky-high premiums and a lack of choices when it comes to health insurance for their employees. Starting today, Granite State small businesses are eligible to receive a tax credit when they provide health insurance for an employee. Controlling costs and lowering taxes will help create jobs and keep New Hampshire competitive."
Michael St. Germain, president of Concord Camera said, "The new health care bill will now allow us to offer health care insurance to our staff by being affordable through the tax credits. This health care reform will also make it possible for us to attract the kind of people that will help us grow our business. This legislation is just what small New Hampshire businesses have been asking for and need."
Steve Rand, owner of Rand's Do it Best Hardware in Plymouth, NH said, "Health insurance reform will make it possible for Rand's to offer a company health plan again. All the ideas are right. Establish state pools that will give us the buying power of our big-business competition. Require national chain retailers to sustain the same health insurance costs as we do, leveling the playing field. Give workers the freedom to move to different employment, and employers the ability to attract good employees, without regard for insurability."
Under the new health insurance reform plan, nearly 35,000 small businesses in New Hampshire will immediately be eligible for tax credits equal to 35 percent of their employee's premium. The plan also begins to create Health Insurance Exchanges that will allow small businesses to pool together when purchasing health insurance. Creating larger pools gives small business owners the same buying power as larger firms and reduces health insurance costs.