Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Some San Diego groups and business leaders decry House Republicans' vote to repeal health-care reform.
House Republicans voted Wednesday to repeal the nation's health care law. The Democratic-controlled Senate is not expected to take up the measure. Still, some San Diego groups and business leaders are rallying against the repeal.
The law expands coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and requires that most carry health insurance.
Republicans argue it provides for a government takeover of the health-care system, raises taxes and would destroy jobs.
Democrats insist those claims are false, saying a repeal would strip Americans of new protections against insurance-industry abuses that deny them coverage they have paid for.
Jan Spencley, executive director of San Diegans for Health Care Coverage, said the law isn’t perfect, but a repeal would give insurance companies the power again to deny, drop, or cap health-care coverage for millions of Americans.
“We have people who feel it didn’t go far enough; we have people who feel it’s underfunded, especially in the provider community; we have people who are concerned about the 1099 issue for businesses and want to see that rectified,” she said. “We believe a lot of small issues need to be addressed, but those are adjustments, and not repeal,” Spencley added.
San Diego small-business owner Richard Ledford said a repeal would have costly consequences. The law offers small businesses tax credits worth up to 35 percent of the cost of providing health insurance. The credit will grow to 50 percent in 2014.
Ledford said a repeal would take those credits away and leave small employers at the mercy of large insurers.
“San Diego is predominantly small businesses, and 80 percent of businesses here have less than 10 employees,” Ledford explained. “So I view any repeal effort as really, frankly, an attack on small business. And it would take away some of our ability to control some of the expenses associated with employing people and producing products and services, and being innovative.”
GOP officials said, in the coming weeks, congressional committees will propose changes to the existing law, including calling for an elimination of a requirement for individuals to purchase coverage. Democrats criticized them during last year's marathon debate for failing to offer a specific plan of their own.