U.S. Senate candidate Dino Rossi and two Seattle small business owners held a press conference Monday to discuss the impact of the recently passed health care bill on small businesses and their employees. Sen. Patty Murray provided the 60th and deciding vote on the partisan health care bill which was intended to increase access and reduce costs.
Patrice Martel, owner of Pacific Star Gutter just found the costs of the healthcare plan she provides for her employees will increase by 80% next year. Ms. Martel said, "For the first time in 25 years we are facing the hard reality that we will not be able to cover our employees, who have worked for us for a combined 56 years. We want more access, we want reform, we want our costs lowered, we want to be able to buy across state lines, but this bill does none of that -- it increases our costs and reduces access."
Steve Neighbors hosted the press conference at his company Terra Staffing, which he has owned for 27 years said, "There is really nothing in this bill that reduces costs, it actually escalates costs. Where is the better access? There is none. Where are the cost savings? There are none. The things we know that could control cost are not in this legislation. We need reform, but this is not the reform we need."
U.S. Senate candidate Dino Rossi said, "Since deciding to run for U.S. Senate, I have met with business owners all over the state of Washington who would like to grow and expand. But, because of the $500 billion this healthcare bill is going to cost in new taxes, they will have to reduce benefits, lay off employees or not invest in their businesses. We need real reform that will help small businesses grow, not costly legislation that further harms the economy. Senator Murray was the 60th and deciding vote for this bill that will only hurt unemployment and small businesses across the state of Washington."
Patrice Martel wrapped up the press conference saying, "As I sat home digesting my 80% increase I thought that I'm going to call my senator, Patty Murray and tell her how I feel, but I don't think Patty Murray cares about my small business. Mr. Rossi cares about this state and cares about small businesses like mine, and he cares about this country."