Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

One Minute Speech on Small Businesses in Health Care Reform

Nov 6, 2009
Floor Speech

   Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you about a friend of mine, Kelly Conklin, who owns a small business in New Jersey, since that is what we have been hearing from many of my friends on the other side. It is a small woodworking business.

   Each year, Kelly has to determine the best set of benefits at the best price based on his employees and their needs. Unfortunately, the options dictated to him by an insurer leave him with very few choices. He has zero negotiating power. That is why the exchange is a great idea for small businesses to deal with the problems, because offering coverage is the right thing for him to do and the best way for him to attract the most skilled employees.

   Kelly is literally at the whim of his insurer. For 2010, he faces a 35 percent increase in premiums. How in God's name can we justify this by a bill that the other side has presented that is cheap because it doesn't do anything?