Local Business Reacts To Health Care Overhaul

Jose Perez owns Tamales y Tacos Don Jose in San Juan.

He said business is slow, and health insurance is something his family had to sacrifice to keep the restaurant afloat.

"We really don't have the luxury to go to the doctor here because it's too expensive," said Perez in Spanish.

Instead, Perez takes his family to Reynosa if they need medical care.

But the new health insurance bill promises to help small businesses get affordable insurance.

"If I knew that we could be in a program that would be the same price as going to Mexico, I would go here to the doctor," said Perez.

Right now, small businesses pay higher rates because they don't have the advantage of large numbers of employees to spread the insurance risk.

Perez only has five employees, himself included.

If passed, officials said beginning in 2014, the bill will create a state-based health insurance exchange that would give small businesses the ability to join a large pool and have access to the same types of affordable coverage that only larger businesses have today.

Perez just hopes this isn't too good to be true.

"I hope it really would be a good program and has good benefits," said Perez.

But Perez said even if the bill passes, and it turns out to be more expensive, he'll still take his family to Mexico for medical care.

The bill needs to go through the senate before it can reach President Obama for a signature.

A date still hasn't been set for that, but officials think it could happen before the beginning of next year.

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