As part of his "Jobs are Job One" tour, U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown today visited a Dunkin' Donuts store in Woburn, where concern is running higher over potential increases in insurance costs because of the pending national healthcare bill.
Starting with one store in 1985, Steve Catalano has expanded his family business through the years and now employs nearly 240 people. He contributes to his employees' health insurance.
"When politicians talk about raising taxes or increasing insurance costs, they don't seem to realize that this potentially means lost jobs," said Catalano. "When taxes and regulations go up, I need to decide what improvement or expansion to skip and that hurts a local plumber or contractor. And if I need to lay off an employee because Washington needs more money, that hurts an entire family."
Brown said he opposes the current national health care proposals because Massachusetts has already addressed the problem of the uninsured with its own reforms. With 97 percent of Massachusetts residents now covered by insurance, state taxpayers would effectively be subsidizing coverage expansions in other states through higher taxes and fees. Brown said this will cost Massachusetts jobs and make it harder on businesses struggling to make ends meet in the current recession.
"Steve Catalano offers steady employment and good benefits to his employees, but he is concerned that increases in insurance costs could force him to lay off workers and cut benefits," said Brown. "I believe that all Americans should have health insurance, but we can't afford a program that kills jobs and slows our economic recovery."