Small business group joins health reform lawsuit

WASHINGTON Fri May 14, 2010 12:48pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about health insurance reform during a visit to Portland, Maine April 1, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about health insurance reform during a visit to Portland, Maine April 1, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An influential small business lobby group said on Friday it had joined 20 states in a lawsuit arguing insurance coverage requirements in the newly enacted healthcare overhaul are unconstitutional.

The National Federation of Independent Business announced its decision ahead of a news conference in Florida with state Attorney General Bill McCollum to discuss the lawsuit.

McCollum is seeking the Republican nomination to run for Florida governor and was one of the first state officials to sue the federal government over President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare reform passed by Congress in March.

"The outpouring of opposition to this new law was overwhelming and our members urged us to do everything in our power to stop this unconstitutional law," NFIB President and chief executive Dan Danner said in a statement.

"Small business owners everywhere are rightfully concerned that the unconstitutional new mandates, countless rules and new taxes in the healthcare law will devastate their business and their ability to create jobs," he added.

The NFIB has about 350,000 members and initially had supported efforts to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system to help bring down soaring costs. But the small business group ended up opposing the legislation that was passed by the Democratic-led Congress.

Danner said small businesses want reforms that help reduce costs and increase choices.

"But this new law resulted in more bad than good for our nation's job creators. And this law is a bridge too far in terms of the future of our constitutional freedoms and liberties," he added.

The states are challenging the bill's central element, a mandate for nearly everyone to purchase health insurance. The bill also includes fines for larger businesses whose employees seek subsidized coverage on state insurance exchanges that are to be up and running by 2014.

(Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by David Alexander and Vicki Allen)

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Comments (3)
dst2003 wrote:
always baffles me how someone can literally argue that for profit healthcare is cheaper than government run. the only people its cheaper for is the insurance companies because they dont pay the money back! its a hilarious situation where a company provides no goods or services, simply makes money. this country is so effing screwed if we cant stand up and throw these people out of authority.

May 14, 2010 5:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sd8508 wrote:
As a small-business owner, I can assure you that Obamacare will devastate our ability to grow and expand by hiring people. Our web site, , a popular job board for medical sales, has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of jobs posted as medical companies position for the new environment under socialized medicine.

May 14, 2010 5:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
N0rtMan wrote:
@dst2003 and imgibson: You are intitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

The fact of the matter is ObamaCare and the current legislative bills will continue to do nothing about escalating medical cost and increases in premiums that affect 80% of the working population.

If you want to go after profiting healthcare companies then go after drug companies 30% profit margins. Or go after hospital systems that dump poor patients on ghetto clinics so they can reserve beds for rich patience – Michelle Obama knows this well, she and David Axlerod created a program for The University of Chicago Medical Center.

So who’s screwing who? hmmmm

May 14, 2010 7:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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