Small businesses drive economic growth in our country. They comprise 99.7 percent of all employers in our Nation. America's 26 million small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the private work force and generate more than half of the nation's gross domestic product. Small businesses are the principal source of new jobs in the U.S. economy generating between 60 and 80 percent of net new jobs annually.
As a former small business owner, I recognize the importance of a climate that fosters business growth rather than inhibits it. I continually support legislation that enhances businesses through tax relief, regulatory modifications, and health care reforms. Every extra dollar small-business owners are forced to spend complying with government mandates is a dollar that is not going toward business modernization, research and development, and employee expansion.
In the 111th Congress, I have introduced H.R. 77, the Health Care Incentive Act. The Health Care Incentive Act helps to address the problem of the over 47 million Americans who lack health insurance. The top two reasons cited for why people do not have health insurance are high cost of insurance and lack of access to employer-sponsored insurance. HR 77 addresses both - with broader access to employer-sponsored insurance, more Americans will be able to have health insurance. This will decrease the burden that the uninsured place on our health care system, and eventually will lead to lower costs for care. Further, as the Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, we have examined the government contracting process to better guide small businesses through the complex process.
I will continue to support small businesses, fight to stimulate the local economy in our District, and attract businesses to Southern California.