July 31 Business Before Hours to address health care reform

TULALIP — The July 31 Business Before Hours meeting at the Tulalip Resort Casino will focus on the possible impact to businesses of the health care legislation that's currently being proposed in Congress.

Starting at 7 a.m. in the Canoes Cabaret Room, the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce will host Donna Steward, director of governmental affairs for the Association of Washington Business, as she addresses potentially problematic items within the proposed legislation, as well as possible alternatives that could accomplish affordable coverage without hindering businesses.

"Congress is contemplating sweeping changes to our health care coverage system that will have an impact on every American throughout the country," said Kimberlie Ritchey, director of administration for the Chamber. "The proposals under consideration will impact every business owner, regardless of whether or not they already provide health care coverage for their employees."

Ritchey expressed concerns with the pace at which proposed legislation is moving toward possible passage, citing warnings from the Congressional Budget Office that "the proposals to date will further strain our already weak economy," as well as mentioning a House-introduced small business tax, designed to pay for the proposals.

Ritchey cited an analysis by the non-partisan Tax Foundation, alleging that the latter proposal would result in tax rates of more than 50 percent for many small businesses.

"Through this 'surtax,' small business owners will be paying more than half of every dollar to the government," Ritchey said. "This proposed tax hurts more than small business owners. It threatens more than 28 percent of the private-sector workforce, the 33.5 million workers employed by small businesses. What good is a health care reform plan if it puts Americans out of work? You can make a difference. Don't miss this opportunity to arm yourself with this critical information, and use it to protect your business by alerting your legislators before it’s too late."

Attendees may RSVP for $23 or pay at the door for $28. You can call 360-659-7700 or e-mail to RSVP or learn more.

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