Eau Claire (WQOW)- Health care reform was a big topic as the mayor of Minneapolis met with a few small business owners in Eau Claire on Tuesday. Last month, the Supreme Court upheld most of the reform law.
Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak is traveling across the border, talking with small business owners.
"I think the main thing that people talk to me about with small business is let us succeed. Don't let people game the system like they did when they collapsed the economy under George Bush. Do things like the President has been talking about, which is to create incentives to hire, incentives to invest in a business, and then stand back and let the power of American business succeed," says Mayor Rybak.
The number one issue discussed on Tuesday centered on health care and the potential problems it can pose to employers.
"Health care puts me as a small business owner at a competitive disadvantage. I cannot afford to offer health care to all of my employees," says Details CEO Mickey Judkins. "So I'm very excited to see the President take a very bold step where we would come together and offer a menu of options where small business owners would be pooled together and in that way, be able to look at affordable policies for our employees."
Republicans have argued President Obama's plan will force small businesses to cut staff or close. A recent survey suggests one in 11 employers plans to drop coverage for workers over the next three years because of the high cost. The issue continues to be a hot topic in Washington. On Tuesday, the two most powerful senators debated the idea of repealing health care reform.
"I think it would be appropriate to have a vote on the repeal of Obamacare and I would hope to be able to offer that amendment during the pendency of the bill on cyber-security, which we believe will be open to amendments," says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).
"The number one issue today is whether we are going to have bad people attack our country and shut it down. And now, we are here being asked if we are going to have a vote on cyber-security as to whether my grandchildren can have contraception," countered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D).
While the discussion continues from Eau Claire to Washington, there are no clear answers about what the future of health care will look like.
The bulk of health care reform takes effect in 2014, but some benefits are already in place. Others will become effective on Wednesday. Those include several new services for women that will come with no out of pocket cost.
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