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Small Business to Obamacare: We'll See You in Supreme Court


Next month, the National Federation of Independent Business will challenge the constitutionality of the health law on behalf of its 350,000 members, along with co-plaintiffs comprised of 26 state governments.

If ever there was a case worth fighting to overcome, it’s the health reform law.

The numerous constraints it has put upon employers—and their employees—has made it nearly impossible to thrive under a law that all but ignores the freedom that is the foundation of America.

One of the law’s most contested and financially crippling aspects is the mandate that every American carry health insurance; employers get a double whammy with costlier health premiums.

More alarmingly, the health reform law is threatening the solvency of small businesses. This tight community is known to be quietly proactive whenever legislation comes around that jeopardizes their collective entrepreneurial spirit.

Now, things are about to get very, very loud.

Next month, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is poised to face-off with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The NFIB has brought the case (National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Secretary of HHS, Et al) on behalf of its 350,000 members nationwide and will present with its co-plaintiffs, which consist of 26 state governments (http://www.nfib.com/press-media/press-media-item?cmsid=55701). The case will be heard March 26- 28.

The NFIB affirms its “fundamental mission is to promote and protect the rights of small businesses and the self-employed to own, operate and grow their business, and this healthcare law directly undermines this core value.” The organization also references the “Commonwealth Fund, Benefits and Premiums in Job-Based Insurance” report of May 2006, which states small businesses on average pay approximately 18% more for health insurance than their counterparts for the same services.

In a December commentary published on masslive.com, NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner wrote about the disconnect he sees between what politicians say and what they do with regard to small business.

The following excerpt is noteworthy:

“Politicians are fond of talking about the importance of small businesses. They frequently point out that small businesses create jobs and are the backbone of our economy. However, politicians sometimes underestimate how powerful small business is in shaping our way of life and looking out for our freedoms. This influence is not something to be ignored. In fact, it’s something we should give thanks for. Although they are some of the busiest people in the country, small-business owners find time to get involved in the democratic process. Many of them feel they have no choice but to push back on a government that sings their praises while dipping its long arm into their coffers. Not to mention all the times they get nudged, pushed or slapped by its misguided policies. ...The hope is that the court will agree that the government has overreached. There is a chance that when they rule on the case, the health-care law will be struck down completely. ... The decision has the potential to rock the 2012 elections and change the course of history by stopping further infringement on our freedoms.”

We will be keeping a close eye on this case as it unfolds. Maybe real hope and change are on the way.

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