|Small business owner
speaks out on health care
|July 12, 1999 -- Richard G.
Gallo, owner of The Office Outlet in Indiana,
Penn., today joined members of the United States
Senate in addressing one of the most pressing
public policy issues facing America today:
health care reform.|
Gallo spoke at a
press conference in Washington, D.C., alongside
members of the Senate Leadership and other small
business owners. "I am a small businessman with
seven employees and a family of four children.
The cost of providing health insurance for my
employees, say nothing of my own family, is too
expensive for me, so we go without. Every day I
pray to God that nothing will happen to any of
us," Gallo said.
"I was blessed with the
opportunity to live the American Dream when I
started my business three years ago. Not being
able to afford health insurance is the flip side
of this dream: it's a nightmare. I do plan on
purchasing health coverage for my family and
employees as soon as I am able to afford it, but
that will be more and more difficult if Congress
enacts bills that keep hiking up the
Gallo and other speakers
addressed the repercussions that a "Patients'
Bill of Rights" could have on those struggling
to afford health care insurance.
"Senator Kennedy's so-called Patients'
Bill of Rights bill does everything that would
increase the number of uninsured Americans, and
nothing that would make health care more
affordable for small business," Gallo explained.
"Small business owners and their employees will
suffer if this bill becomes law. By jacking up
the cost of insurance and allowing lawyers to
sue them if they do offer coverage, it would
leave many small employers like me with no
prudent choice but to drop coverage for their
employees or reconsider purchasing it if they
don't already provide it."
that for every one percent increase in health
care costs, 300,00 to 400,000 individuals lose
their health insurance.
Nickles (R-Okla.) sponsored the press conference
to announce a bill that he and Senator Trent
Lott (R-Miss.) have introduced, which would
expand coverage for the uninsured and improves
health care quality.
Gallo spoke as a
representative of the National Federation of
Independent Business (NFIB), the nation's
largest small business advocacy group. A
nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in
1943, NFIB represents the consensus views of its
600,000 members in Washington and all 50 state
capitals. More information is available online
Cameron or Mary