As you may have heard, President Obama has been pushing Congress to pass health care reform in the next several weeks. While the President’s proposal is similar to that passed by the Senate in December, he will seek to appease liberal members of the House of Representatives by passing a separate, more progressive bill shortly after the initial health care bill is passed. In fact, as recently as today, the administration has promised to take up the public option in the near future to appease progressives. This second “reconciliation bill” will only need a simple majority in the Senate in order to pass.
Obama is also meeting with more moderate House Democrats, who voted against the House version of the bill last year, in order to secure their votes this time around. These House moderates are considered prime targets for switching their votes now that the more moderate Senate bill will most likely be the bill that passes the House.
The Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) for which DDIFO is a founding member has asked us to support their grass roots effort to oppose the current health care reform.
ISSUE: The final health care package will be assembled within the next few days. Therefore, it is essential that CFA members contact their lawmakers to oppose health care reform.
Specifically, the CFA has learned that Rep. George Miller (CA-07), a member of the Progressive Caucus and Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, is urging the White House and Congressional leadership to include part-time workers and narrow the small business exemption in the final health care reform package. The changes that Mr. Miller and his progressive caucus are proposing would increase the scope of businesses that would have to provide minimum coverage, as well as the portion of total fees imposed on employers.
Concurrently, in an effort to secure the votes needed to pass the Senate’s version of health care in the House of Representatives, the White House has targeted certain Representatives, urging them to switch their vote to “yes” in order to secure the bill’s passage.
ACTION: Please contact your Members of Congress and urge them to OPPOSE the current health care reform proposals. Specifically, tell your representatives to maintain the part-time worker exemption currently in the Senate-passed bill.
Additionally, if you live in or operate your businesses in the following member’s districts, please emphasize the impact of employer-mandated health care on your business and employees and urge them to continue to vote against the current health care proposals:
• Bobby Bright (AL-02)
• Christopher Murphy (CT-05)
• Suzanne Kosmos (FL-24)
• Allen Boyd (FL-02)
• Frank Kratovil (MD-01)
• Bart Stupak (MI-01)
• John Adler (NJ-03)
• Mike McMahon (NY-13)
• John Boccieri (OH-16)
• Bart Gordon (TN-06)
• John Tanner (TN-08)
• Rick Boucher (VA-09)
• Glenn Nye (VA-02)
• Brian Baird (WA-03)
TALKING POINTS: Visit CFA Votes! to send a customizable letter to your elected officials. If you choose to contact your members via telephone, below are talking points for your reference.
• As a small business owner, I provide jobs to those in the community. Employer mandates may well put my stores out of business and my employees out of work.
• Franchisees operate on thin profit margins. Including part-time workers in the employer requirements will overburden me by adding large new costs and administrative obligations in already difficult times. This will hinder my ability to maintain and create the jobs our economy needs to recover.
• Part-time employees are a large and essential component of my workforce. Many of my employees work for multiple employers to build a flexible work schedule or receive coverage under another health plan.
• An employer “pay or play” requirement does nothing to address the cost hurdles facing small employers like me. Instead of an employer requirement, Congress should enact reforms that address tort reform while expanding the number of affordable choices available to employers and their employees.
• The existing market needs more choices – not less. The potential inability of existing insurers to compete with a tax-payer funded government health plan threatens the stability of the private market.