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TIA's Fiore: 'Burden to fall on small business'

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While there are many unknowns about the health care reform bill, Paul Fiore, director of government and business relations for the Tire Industry Association (TIA), believes most of the legislation's cost "is going to fall on small business."

"I don't think there's anything good about this for small businesses," Fiore told yesterday, March 22, the day after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the controversial bill.

"We have concerns that the cost of insurance is going to go up." 

Then there is the issue of fines being levied on employers if they do not provide insurance coverage for their workers, he adds.

"We have some time. Some of these provisions won't kick in from anywhere from one year to seven years, but some will be very soon. Even with the penalties, there are a lot of calculations that are unknown. For instance, you're going to have to aggregate some of your employees.

"I don't want to totally be the voice of doom. If this is going to improve employee morale, that's a good thing. If this leads to more transparency, that's not a bad thing."

However, Fiore is concerned about "the support this legislation had from the insurers and the hospitals. That gives me a level of discomfort. If they were in favor of this legislation, that probably means they're going to make more money, and that money is not going to come from individuals," but rather, business owners.

TIA's job, he says, will be to "dive deep into (the legislation) and provide the best and most accurate information to help our members choose" a plan of action.

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