NFIB blasted the House lawmakers who passed a managed care reform bill that will increase the cost of health care and increase the liability faced by small business owners. The Norwood-Dingell bill opposed by Main Street passed the House.

"Those who voted to pass the Norwood-Dingell bill delivered a gift to the trial bar today - and small businesses and their employees will be stuck with the tab," says Dan Danner, NFIB's vice president of Federal Public Policy. "This legislation will drive up costs and, in turn, drive up the ranks of the uninsured."

Three out of five of the 44.3 million Americans without health insurance are from families headed by someone who works in a small business.

"This legislation drives up costs two ways: by new mandates and by inviting more lawsuits," says Danner. "Those small businesses that have been able to afford health insurance for their employees are already struggling to meet premium increases of more than 20 percent a year in some cases. They can't absorb the additional costs these new mandates will add. Nor will they be willing to risk being dragged into court just because they provide health insurance.

"Lawsuits cost small businesses an average of $100,000, even if the business is found innocent -that's enough to put most small businesses right out of business. So the effect of this legislation is that fewer small businesses will be able to afford to provide health insurance. That means more Americans go without insurance."

"On Wednesday, the House passed a bill that offers tremendous help and hope to the 44.3 million Americans without health insurance," says Danner. "Yesterday, they took a major step backward. As the health-care debate continues in Washington, small business will continue to fight for a solution that addresses the real crisis in health care today: access and cost."