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Discover Survey Finds Majority of Small Business Owners Favor Repeal of Health-Care Reform Law

Nearly Half Say Health-Care Reform Law Will Hurt Business

RIVERWOODS, Ill., Jan 18, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- More than half of small business owners favor the repeal of the health care reform law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010, according to a survey from Discover conducted January 10-12. Forty-six percent also say that the current health care reform law will hurt their business.

In addition, 47 percent of small business owners who provide health insurance to their employees said they are considering discontinuing health insurance because the costs are too high - the highest figure since Discover began the survey four years ago. Fifty-one percent of small business owners who offer health insurance to their employees say they are not considering discontinuing the insurance, and 2 percent were unsure.

Discover has been surveying U.S. small business owners about the issues that affect them for more than four years through the Discover® Small Business WatchSM. The first poll about health care was conducted in 2008, when 40 percent of respondents offering health insurance to employees said they were considering discontinuing it because of cost. That figure had dropped to 29 percent last year, but rose 18 points to 47 percent in this year's survey.

The majority (55 percent) of small business owners favor repeal of the health care law, 36 percent oppose it and 9 percent are unsure.

Forty-six percent say the new health care reform will hurt their small business, while 27 percent say the new plan will help, 16 percent say it will have no impact, and 11 percent are not sure. Eleven percent of small business owners report that obtaining affordable health care is "not very" difficult, while five percent report no difficulty and 15 percent are not sure.

"Small business owners are suffering from rising health care costs, and according to the survey, most don't believe the current law is the solution," said Ryan Scully, director of Discover's small business card.

The percentage of small business owners reporting difficulty in obtaining affordable health care for themselves and their employees has grown to 69 percent, up 4 points from last year.

Thirty-eight percent of small business owners report health care costs having a major impact on their business, up 4 points from last year. Twenty-one percent report a minor impact, 32 percent report no impact and 8 percent are not sure.

About the Small Business Watch

The Discover Small Business Watch is a monthly index measuring the relative economic confidence of U.S. small business owners who have less than five employees, a segment that consists of 22 million businesses producing more than a trillion dollars in annual receipts. The Watch is based on a national random survey of 750 small business owners. It is commissioned by Discover Business card, which strives to offer the best business credit card for American small businesses, and is conducted by Rasmussen Reports, LLC (www.rasmussenreports.com), an independent survey research firm. The numeric index is calculated by assigning values to responses to a set of five consistent questions. The base value of the Watch was established at 100.0 based on surveys conducted in August 2006. In addition to generating the index, the Small Business Watch surveys small business owners every month on key issues, and polls 3,000 consumers four times per year to gauge purchasing behavior and attitudes towards small businesses. For past results and survey data, visit www.discovercard.com/business/watch. For information on Discover Business card, visit www.discovercard.com/business.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers personal and student loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its Discover Bank subsidiary. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discoverfinancial.com.

The views and opinions expressed by small business owners and consumers who participate in the Small Business Watch survey are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Discover Financial Services or its affiliates.

SOURCE: Discover Financial Services

Burson-Marsteller
Jessica Douglas, 312-596-3441
jessica.douglas@bm.com
or
Discover Financial Services
Matthew Towson, 224-405-5649
mathewtowson@discover.com