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Mr. MILLER of North Carolina. Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak against this bill.
Even before the recession, my State of North Carolina was losing one wave of jobs after another in our traditional industries, and we have needed the energy and the job creation that comes from small business--from people leaving jobs, whether they jump or are pushed, and starting their own businesses. Half the American economy, our gross domestic product, is generated by small business. Even more importantly, small businesses create 75 percent of new jobs.
By providing access to State high-risk pools and an insurance market for individuals, the health care reform bill passed last year will make it possible for American workers to start their own businesses without worrying they are going to lose health care for themselves or for their families.
I do know firsthand what it is like as a small business owner to buy health insurance for employees. It is one of the greatest frustrations--trying to find something affordable and trying to figure out what you really bought, and you're not going to know until one of your employees gets sick or gets hurt.
This bill, the bill passed last year--this
legislation--will make it affordable. It will provide tax credits of 35 percent for small businesses to provide health insurance, and that is going to go up to 50 percent. That will increase health care coverage by more than 12 percent amongst small business owners. Even more importantly, they're going to know what they've got. It is going to be insurance that really covers what it ought to cover. It is not going to be filled with small-print exceptions of one kind of care after another, one condition after another. Employees are going to get the care they need.
Reform has freed people who want to start a business to do it without worrying about what kind of shape it's going to leave them in and their family members in.
I urge my colleagues to vote against this bill, which will put those small businesses back into uncertain land.
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