Health Care Reform Consensus: It Will Harm Millions of Small Businesses

By Daniel Downs

Small business employs more people than large corporate establishments. By comparison, small businesses employ 50.2 percent of all American workers, while large corporations employ only 49.8 percent. Depending on the statistical source used, the number of Americans employed by small businesses is between 60 to 69 million. Self employed entrepreneurs make up between 32 to 38 percent of small businesses.

Small businesses also lead the nation in creating new jobs. According to Small Business Trends, two-thirds of all new jobs are created by small business.

So why do Congressional Democrats favor the interests of big business? Why does their health care reform legislation give them large deductions for self-insured health care? One answer might be elite the liberal Congressional millionaires maybe attempting to protect their investments self-insuring corporations. Another possibility maybe that big corporations have better lobbyists, but who cares?

The largest and best employers in America are overwhelmingly opposed to Congress’ health care reform legislation. They oppose it not only because it gives unfair breaks only to large corporations but also because it will raise the cost of doing business, and threatens the ability of small firms to grow their business and create new jobs.

One aspect of the legislation specifically targets the construction industry, according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. “The bill singles out the construction industry by not exempting businesses in this sector from the “play-or-pay” employer mandate that other firms with 50 or fewer employees are exempt from.” Interestingly, the government defines small business as firms with 500 or less employees. Consequently, many other small businesses will be adversely affected by the unfunded mandates.

About one-third of the 22 million self-employed cannot even afford health insurance. Those who do purchase health coverage have experienced double-digit premium increases every year, making it difficult to retain insurance, according to the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE). Because the Senate tabled an amendment that would have given a 50 percent deduction to small businesses, the cost of adequate health care will continue rise if the Democrats health care bill passes.

As outlined by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Congress’ health care reform will significantly increase the cost of health care to small businesses in the following ways:

The legislation includes a new $60 billion tax that falls almost exclusively on small business because the fee (tax) is assessed on insurance companies, which is confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office. This cost will be passed on to small business in the form of higher premiums, at least 10 percent higher. The cost of health care insurance is already 18 percent higher for small businesses than for large corporations. And, as previously stated, the new legislation exempts self-insuring large corporations from the additional costs.

Because employer mandates assess multiple penalties based on the income of full-time employees, there will be job loss, greater reliance on part-time employees, and harm to entry-level and low-wage workers.

The new reporting requirements increases administrative costs by $17 billion.

Small business with high rates of employee turnover may be put out of business because of a $600 fine for not providing all employees health insurance within 60 days.

Congress’ health care reform also limits previous cost saving options like tax-exempt Health Savings Accounts.

According to Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, a government-run health care plan cannot compete fairly with the private market and threatens to destroy the marketplace, further limiting choices.

One thing is certain; the health care reform of congressional Democrats will be neither affordable nor free-market friendly. Those are a few reasons why small businesses should petition their representatives. Small business owners can also sign the SBECs “Not On Our Backs” Small Business Health Care “Not On Our BacksPetition to voice their opposition to the proposed national health care legislation.

One response to “Health Care Reform Consensus: It Will Harm Millions of Small Businesses

  1. Pingback: Imperial Health Care Anyone? Witness the Lord’s Day Debacle « Xenia Ohio Citizen Journal

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