To small business owners, the threat of being sued is a critical matter. With the jackpot mentality that trial lawyers have foisted upon the legal system, most small businesses are one unlucky break away from closing up shop. Health care legislation that is packaged as a Patients Bill of Rights threatens to exacerbate the liability faced by Main Street.

The legislation was defeated in the Senate. In the House, support is building for the measure that would expand a patient's right to sue to include employers who provide health care coverage. The threat posed by health care reform legislation that expands liability is to increase the direct cost of providing coverage and discourage employers form offering coverage at all.

NFIB members who came to Washington in the last few months to testify against Patient's Bill of Rights legislation pointed out that the cost of passing expanded liability as part of the health care legislation is too much for her business.

Lynn Scherr Bowles, executive vice president of Scherr Refrigeration in Richmond, Va. says the Patient's Bill of Rights legislation could put her out of business.

Should you choose to pass the Kennedy-Dingell bill, my company will be one of the first to stop offering health-care benefits to our employees, said Bowles. One lawsuit and my company would have no choice but to go bankrupt.