U.S. Senator Fears Healthcare Bill Could Be "Fundamental Threat" to Small Businesses
March 19, 2010

As President Obama's healthcare bill nears its final stages and could possibly be passed as soon as this weekend, one U.S. senator has said he fears it could have a negative impact on small businesses across the nation.

"I'm real concerned about this bill because of a fundamental threat it would make to small businesses," said Sen. David Vitter (R - La.).

Vitter, who addressed the 2010 Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, explained that the bill mandates that small employers would have to provide healthcare coverage to their employees-or pay a fee of $750 per employee per year to the government. However, the national average for costs of healthcare for small businesses per employee is $6,100, according to Vitter.

"Millions of employees are going to be dumped off coverage they're reasonably satisfied with," he said.

Vitter predicted the bill will pass at least before the Easter recess.

Some in the contract glazing industry have also spoken out about the healthcare bill. As Ed Zaucha, chief executive officer of contract glazing firm APG International, told USGNN.com, "APG - International (like the majority of union construction companies) provides full health care coverage for its employees. We strongly believe that is the responsible thing to do. No employer, regardless of how small, should be exempt. As an employer, accepting a $750 fine would be a fraction of what we pay for our employee health care coverage," says Zaucha. "The problem of the uninsured in the United States is pervasive and must be dealt with. We should not have a health care bill with thousands of exceptions. I strongly believe that health care in the United States must be approached similarly to public education and that is that each community has an obligation to make sure that every citizen is covered by a basic healthcare coverage. Like public education, there are individuals who would like something better and, accordingly, they should be permitted to purchase better coverage (just like private education options)."

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