President Barack Obama has made another push for national health care reform, releasing on Monday a proposal for Congress to consider during Thursday's televised summit on the system's overhaul. Obama's plan closely resembles that approved by the Senate late last year, including provisions supported by the restaurant industry.
 
National Restaurant Association president and CEO Dawn Sweeney said in a statement that the association continues to support efforts to make health care more affordable as long as they protect small businesses and allow restaurants to continue to create jobs.
 
From the NRA:
The president's proposal maintains protections for small businesses that are vital to the restaurant industry. The inclusion of a 90-day waiting period for employers to provide coverage for new hires and provisions to ease transition burdens on individuals and businesses are positive measures we have supported from the beginning.
 
Greater progress is needed on the definition of a full-time employee, among other key aspects of the legislation.
 
While we remain deeply concerned about health care reform legislation, we will continue to work with the Administration, the Senate, and the House of Representatives to try to develop a solution that allows the restaurant industry to provide its employees meaningful benefits and supports our ability to generate the economic growth and jobs our nation needs.
The New York Times reported that while Obama's proposal does closely follow the Senate bill, it also addresses top concerns of House leaders, including delaying the "enactment of a controversial tax on high-cost employer-sponsored insurance plans."
 
A summary of the proposal is posted on the White House Web site that outlines its 10 key areas, which include subcategories on employer responsibility and providing nutrition information. In regard to employer responsibility, the president's proposal, like the Senate bill, does not mandate employers to offer or provide health insurance "but does require them to help defray the cost if taxpayers are footing the bill for their workers."
 
 
From the Web site:
Under the President's Proposal, small businesses will receive $40 billion in tax credits to support coverage for their workers beginning this year. Consistent with the Senate bill, small businesses with fewer than 50 workers would be exempt from any employer responsibility policies.
The summary of the proposal also includes a requirement that "certain restaurants and vending machines post calorie information" in order to help put consumers in control of their health decisions.

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