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Curbelo Highlights South Florida Small Business Owner During Overnight BetterCare Markup

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Washington, D.C., March 9, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments
“So … if you are concerned for America’s small businesses, and I think all of us on this committee are because we know that they’re the engine of our economy, then join us in helping fix our health care system by repealing the ACA and replacing it with something that will work for low-income Americans, middle-income Americans, and, of course, our vital small businesses that are so important to the vitality of our economy.”
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At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) gave remarks at the Committee on Ways and Means’ overnight markup of The American Healthcare Act, highlighting a South Florida small business owner who has been struggling under the Affordable Care Act and why the new healthcare bill would provide more affordable options for small business owners and their employees.

A full transcript of Curbelo’s remarks is available below. A video is available here, and broadcast quality audio is available for download here.

U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo
Committee on Ways and Means BetterCare Markup
March 9, 2017
https://youtu.be/9S3cydvcT34


Representative Carlos Curbelo: “Thank you Mr. Chairman. I appreciate my colleagues concern for small businesses, I served on the Small Business Committee, a committee that quite frankly, I miss because it gave me the opportunity to consistently advocate for America’s small entrepreneurs. And I’m very happy to be here in the Ways and Means Committee, especially at 3:30am with all of you, but I do appreciate the opportunity to focus on small business here just for a moment.

“My grandmother, who’s 94 years of age and thankfully in good health, came from Cuba with nothing and she started a small fabric small business, so this is very near and dear to my heart. And the truth is, and I think my colleague recognizes that, is the small business tax credit under the ACA is simply not working. It does little to nothing to make purchasing insurance more affordable for small firms, it is poorly structured, over-complicated, and does not benefit a large population. The credit is restrictive and puts small business owners through a complex process in order to qualify for the credit. In fact, the IRS mailed 4 million postcards to small businesses advertising the credit, yet in 2014 only 181,000 employers claimed the credit.

“The best thing we can do for America’s small businesses – those small businesses that employ recently arrived immigrants who are filled with energy and want to work for our country, those small businesses who employ maybe that kid who didn’t go to college and just has a high school degree and wants to find somewhere to work – the best thing we can do for those small businesses is to give them relief from the taxes and from the regulations of the ACA.

“The ACA is crippling a lot of these small businesses, and don’t take it from me, take it from Joe, a small business owner in my district in South Florida. His company is spending $170,000 a year for a third-party vendor to monitor compliance and to provide sub-par coverage that no one in his company can use. None of the insurance options are affordable, so most employees don’t sign up. In the process, his employees lose their eligibility for subsidies and wind up paying the IRS penalties. He says, ‘Ironically, if only one third of employees signed up for health coverage my company would be forced to close its doors and file for bankruptcy because the cost would be approximately $500,000 a year. The ACA employer-mandate is the single most dangerous threat to the existence of my business.’

“So I would tell my colleague, if you are concerned for America’s small businesses, and I think all of us on this committee are because we know that they’re the engine of our economy, then join us in helping fix our health care system by repealing the ACA and replacing it with something that will work for low-income Americans, middle-income Americans, and, of course, our vital small businesses that are so important to the vitality of our economy.”
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