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Small Business Owners' Guide to the Election

By: Kent Hoover, Bizjournals
Posted: October 17, 2008

page 7 of 13

And Obama's tax credit likely won't be large enough to enable small businesses to afford the benefit-rich coverage available through his national insurance exchange, Kerrigan said. Obama is "out of touch with how expensive it might be for small businesses," she said.

Still, Kerrigan sees a chance that Congress would create some sort of federal insurance pool and provide small businesses with tax credits for insurance purchases. Comprehensive health care reform is less likely, she said. "When that happens, that's when you lose people," Kerrigan said.

The financial meltdown, high gasoline prices and spiraling budget deficits also may have made health care reform less urgent than other priorities.

Only 4 percent of small business owners said health care was the top issue in this election in a survey conducted in September for Discover Financial Services. That compares with 52 percent who said the economy was the top issue. Health care also trailed the war in Iraq, government ethics and corruption and immigration.

Arensmeyer, however, said action on health care can't wait, since fewer small businesses can afford to provide coverage every year.