NFIB says health care reform legislation introduced by Reps. John Dingell and Charles Norwood shows no marked improvement over an earlier version of Patient's Bill of Rights legislation that threatens to increase the cost of health care on Main Street.

This so-called reform legislation simply doesn't pass the small-business test, says Nelson Litterst, NFIB director of Federal Public Policy. While the Norwood-Dingell plan is being billed as widely revised, it still utterly fails to address insurance accessibility and costs -- the two most critical problems for small firms and their workers. And it retains the poison pill of expanded employer liability. That may be music to the ears of trial lawyers, but as far as small business is concerned, this version is no marked improvement.

The high cost of health insurance has been named as the greatest single problem facing their business by small business owners for more than a decade. More than 60 percent of the 43 million Americans without health insurance are from families who are headed by a small business employer or employee.

The bill contains no market-based reform, says Litterst.

Cost is by far the number one threat to existing health coverage and the greatest barrier to improved coverage, says Litterst. Association Health plans would give small firms access to better, more affordable coverage, yet the bill is silent on this issue.