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For immediate release
: Alisa Harrison, 202-662-0766

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2009—The International Franchise Association announced today that the association will oppose the Senate healthcare reform bill introduced this week.

“The Senate’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not reduce the cost of health insurance for franchised employers, and we cannot support health care legislation that fails this basic test,” said IFA Vice President of Government Relations David French.  “We have consistently called for market-based reforms like association health plans, and we are disappointed that the Senate bill will not curb costs in the health insurance system.  We are also very concerned that the budgetary costs of this legislation are vastly understated, and if passed will ensure that small franchised business owners will face a future of job-killing tax hikes and mandates.”

French said that instead of cost control strategies like association health plans and nationwide health insurance markets or curbs on unnecessary defensive medicine and basic litigation reform, the Senate plan represents a fundamental transformation of the workplace and the employer-sponsored health care insurance system. 

“Our goal in any public policy discussion is to preserve the franchise business model and the economic viability of franchised businesses,” French said.  “What has always been an employer-provided benefit is being transformed into an employer obligation, complete with regulatory mandates and new taxes.” 

IFA has advocated for provisions that will allow small businesses to pool together to purchase coverage, including across state lines.  In addition, IFA is advocating for incentives to save for future health care and long-term care needs through products such as health savings accounts (HSAs). 

 “After months of discussion and debate, the franchise business community is disappointed that Congress cannot seem to get it right,” French said.  “Therefore, we must oppose the Senate's bill, and urge Senators to vote no on cloture on the motion to proceed so that we can start over and work toward sensible, bipartisan health care reforms.  We will continue to work with the House and Senate in hopes they can correct the fundamental flaws in this legislation, but time is running out.”

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About The International Franchise Association

The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,250 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at