WASHINGTON — House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who served as majority leader when the health care bill was passed in 2010, told The Daily Caller that the provision of the law which requires businesses with more than 50 employees to purchase health insurance for their workers or pay a fine is not “an impediment” to economic growth.
TheDC asked Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, if the mandate could discourage small businesses’ from growing.
“I think that the health care law, as Mr. Romney originally thought, requires personal and corporate responsibility to provide health insurance, either for themselves or for those who work for them,” Hoyer said during an appearance at the Center for American Progress on Monday, “And I think that historically that has not been an impediment, I think, to growth, and in fact, our health care system has largely been employer-based insurance, both for medium, small and larger businesses.”
“We’ve seen that eroded because of the escalation — pretty rapid escalation — of health care costs and pricing businesses out of the market. Obviously, the health care bill is an effort to staunch that rapid escalation of cost, stabilize them and give people help who need help in getting insurance and spreading the risk so that everybody does have insurance. I think that is an appropriate step for us to have taken, and I think we’ll have to look to see how that — how that operates.”
Hoyer said Congress has to examine how the business requirement in the health care law “impacts small, medium, large and individuals to make sure that it works as planned.”
“Doing nothing is not an option, and I think that the CBO has certainly indicated that we will have saved substantial sums through the legislation that’s been proposed,” he continued. “And so I think that we’ll have to see whether or not it has adverse impacts, and if it does, we’ll have to address those.”