In today’s Wall Street Journal, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke explains the impact of the new health care legislation on businesses. Here’s the text of his op-ed:
Don’t Believe the Writedown Hype
Taken as a whole, health reform is undeniably pro business and pro jobs.
By GARY LOCKE
President Obama began his campaign to reform the American health-care system focused on three goals: protecting Americans’ choice of doctors and health plans, assuring quality and affordable health care for all Americans, and reducing costs for families and businesses.
The new comprehensive health-care legislation meets these goals, and will significantly benefit American businesses by slowing and eventually reversing the tide of crippling premium increases washing over our nation’s employers.
These cost savings are real. They will grow over time. And they will make U.S. businesses more competitive.
First, by drastically cutting the number of uninsured, this law reduces the hidden tax of about $1,000 for family coverage that those with insurance pay to cover the cost of the uninsured who rely on emergency rooms for care.
Second, the law invests $5 billion in a new reinsurance program for early retirees starting this year. For employers paying for their retirees between ages 55-64, this provision will directly reduce family premiums by as much as $1,200.