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Printing Industries of America urges House to reject health care reform

Monday, March 22, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Note:  The following release was received on March 19th but due to our publishing schedule not published until the morning of March 22nd

March 19th, 2010 -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Printing Industries of America today urged the U.S. House of Representatives to reject the health care reform legislation expected to be voted on this weekend.

In a letter to all U.S. Representatives, Printing Industries noted that America's printing & graphic communications industry has a long and proud tradition of offering quality employee benefits to workers and their families. Today, more than 90 percent of graphic communications companies provide benefits to a workforce numbering 900,000. The letter noted, though, that access to affordable health insurance is a growing crisis plaguing Printing Industries of America's member companies, and, in particular, the small printers that make up the vast majority of the industry.

In announcing the association's opposition to this legislation, Vice President of Government Affairs Lisbeth A. Lyons said, "Printing Industries of America supports health care reform that would control costs, create more choices in the marketplace, and, ultimately, cover more workers and their dependents in the industry and throughout the country. Unfortunately, H.R. 3590 would not achieve these goals."

In its letter, Printing Industries of America noted the following as "key concerns regarding H.R. 3590 and proposed modifications to it:"
- An employer mandate that does little to make insurance more affordable and assesses penalties that discourage hiring of new workers in an industry that has lost over 70,000 jobs since 2008
- An unworkable small business tax credit that will largely fail to offset the cost of employer-provided health insurers for small printers due to its temporary nature and rigid payroll eligibility structure
- Increased Medicare payroll tax that sets a precedent for using future payroll taxes to pay for non-Medicare programs and that will hike taxes on a segment of printing companies
- New restrictions and penalties on health insurance tools like Flexible Savings and Health Savings Accounts, cost-containment options that currently provide insurance coverage to nearly a quarter of printing industry workers
- New taxes and fees on health insurance plans and a range of other health care products and services that may be passed through to employers and individual consumers
According to Lyons, the association has mobilized its nationwide grassroots network to contact lawmakers in what is expected to be the final 72 hours counting down to a historic House vote.

"In industry surveys, our member companies consistently list 'cost of providing health insurance' as their most concerning public policy challenge. Printing companies and their employees are phoning, faxing, and emailing Capitol Hill as the expected vote draws near. They won't be bashful in voicing their opinions that while the status quo in the health care marketplace is unacceptable, so too is the legislation headed to the House floor."

Printing Industries of America has pledged to continue working with Congress on alternative policy solutions that would address the affordability and accessibility issues faced by printing companies attempting to provide health benefits to their workforce.




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