Small Businesses come out against DeMint posturing, Chamber says senator offers nothing for employers

By Greg Hambrick | Charleston City Paper

Sen. Jim DeMint has lost his base. In the past few weeks, the Republican from South Carolina has railed against Democratic healthcare reform and the “Cash for Clunkers” vehicle incentive as anti-small business. Now comes word that some South Carolina small businesses are anti-DeMint.

The S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce released analysis today critical of DeMint’s alternative to healthcare reform. One of the most outspoken critics of the Democratic plans, DeMint suggests he’s made his own proposals for change. Chamber President and CEO Frank Knapp says DeMint’s pitch focuses on individual healthcare plans, ignoring the plight of small businesses owners desperate for aid so that they can retain and compete for quality employees.

According to the chamber, DeMint’s proposals would give tax credits to individuals without employer-based insurance plans, regardless of need. And it would require little, if any, reform for health insurance companies. The chamber also suggested that the cost for DeMint’s plan is so unreasonable that it would not be supported by Republican legislators in South Carolina.

In the release, Lloyd suggested DeMint’s opposition to reform was likely political.

“That won’t solve our health insurance affordability crisis for our small businesses,” he said.

Ironically, DeMint has often suggested that small businesses would be most negatively impacted by the healthcare reforms proposed by the Democratic Congress.

“They know it’s going to raise taxes on the small businesses that create jobs,” DeMint said of the healthcare bill on a Fox News appearance earlier this month.

Also, Organizing for America is encouraging supporters of President Barack Obama to visit Congressional offices across the country, pointing Charlestonians toward DeMint’s local office to stress their approval of Democratic healthcare reform.

“Those who are still putting insurance companies and partisan point-scoring ahead of their constituents must know that voters are watching — and that we expect better,” said Organizing for America Director Mitch Stewart.

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