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Rangel: Small biz won't bear health brunt

WASHINGTON, July 19 (UPI) -- Small U.S. businesses won't bear the brunt of paying for healthcare reform, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., says.

Countering claims by Republican opponents that U.S. small businesses will be hit hard with "job-killing" tax increases to pay for Democrats' healthcare reform proposals, Rangel told CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday those assertions were misleading.

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He disagreed with critics who say a proposed 1 percent income tax surcharge on households making $350,000 or more per year would unfairly affect small businesses.

"It's just wrong to say that this is a tax on small businesses," he said. "We exempt small business from a lot of the penalties. We give tax credits so that they're able to hire and get people healthcare in small businesses. This is a tax on less than 1 percent of the wealthiest people in the United States of America."

Rangel also disagreed with conclusions drawn by a Congressional Budget Office report issued Friday contending a House plan would add to the national deficit. "There are certain things that the (CBO) didn't score, savings that we have, with people not getting sick, preventive care, people not having to be readmitted to the hospital ...," he said.

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