President Bush Participates in Roundtable on Health Savings Accounts
Presbyterian Health Foundation Conference Center
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
10:33 A.M. CDT
THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank our participants for joining me here in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I want to thank the Mayor, members of Congress, United States Senator. Most importantly I want to thank women entrepreneurs. Seventy percent of all new jobs in America are created by small businesses owners. Today with us are small business owners -- people who've taken risk in order to realize dream, and in so doing have provided job opportunities. These are the job creators of the vibrant economy here in Oklahoma.
One of the real issues -- there's a couple of issues that face, obviously, a small business owner. One, are they -- do they have a product anybody wants to buy? But also taxes -- high taxes make it harder to stay in business. I strongly urge the Congress to make the tax relief we passed permanent so that taxes won't increase on small businesses.
But another issue that I hear all the time when I'm talking to small business owners is the issue of health care costs. If you listen to anybody who owns a small business, they will tell you that the rising cost of health care is troubling not only to their balance sheet but to their soul, because they want their employees to have the best. A small business owner really does care a lot about their employees.
Today we're talking about a way for small businesses and individuals -- and large businesses, for that matter -- to help -- to deal with rising health care costs. Our goal is to make sure health care is available and affordable. And once -- one way to help deal with rising health care costs is what's called health savings accounts. These are ingenious products to help people save, incent people to, you know, take care of their bodies, and also make sure that if there's a catastrophic illness they're taken care of. These are products that enable somebody to, you know, move from one job to the next and keep their health care with them, which is important in the 21st century. They're ways for employees [sic] to take care of their employees.
In Oklahoma a lot of people don't know about health saving accounts, and one of the reason I've come down to this part of the country is because I do want people to understand they're available and they're good. About 6 million people across the country are using health savings accounts. The biggest increase is with small business owners.
And so today we've had a good discussion with owners who've got a health savings account, people who are looking at health savings account. I introduced Sandy, head of the SBA here, to folks and if somebody wants to really learn about an HSA, just go on hsa.gov, which is an SBA site, so people can see whether or not it makes sense for your business or your family.
Anyway, I do want to thank you all very much for, one, being pioneers; two, being risk-takers; and three, giving me a chance to hear your thoughts and concerns and -- about a very innovative way for small businesses and individuals to be able to better afford health care.
Thank you, all. (Applause.) Guy was trying to ask a question, but he was in violation of the "no question" policy. (Laughter.) Right, Deb?
Q Did you watch the Palin interview?
THE PRESIDENT: As I said, no question policy. (Laughter.) She did just fine.
END 10:36 A.M. CDT