Bipartisan Members of Congress Hold Six Month Countdown Rally to Repeal the HIT
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 17, 2013) – Four Members of Congress joined small business owners and members of the Stop the HIT Coalition today to highlight the six month countdown to repeal the health insurance tax (HIT) from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Billed as a fee on insurance companies that sell policies on the fully insured market, the Congressional Budget Office has said consumers can expect to see the cost of the health insurance tax passed on in the form of higher health insurance premiums. As 88 percent of small businesses purchase insurance in this market, this new tax is expected to exclusively impact small businesses owners, their employees and the self-employed. One estimate predicts the HIT will cost the average family $500 a year.
The four lead sponsors of bipartisan legislation to repeal the HIT – Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) – participated in the event to raise awareness of the impending six month deadline for implementation of the damaging tax.
“With only six months left until the HIT is implemented, hearing directly from small business owners is critical so Congress can understand the devastating real-world impact this new tax will have on millions of hard-working Americans,” said Amanda Austin, director of federal public policy at the National Federation of Independent Business, a Stop the HIT Coalition member. “We thank Senators Hatch and Barrasso and Representatives Matheson and Boustany for hosting today’s event and for their efforts to stand up for small businesses and their employees.”
“As the owner of a small company, hiring and retaining highly-skilled workers is key to our ability to compete with larger firms,” said Joe Moreshead, co-owner of Precision Screw Machine Products in Maine. “Providing quality health care coverage is one way to ensure a competitive advantage, but if this new tax adds to our already increasing health care costs, our ability to continue to offer affordable coverage is in jeopardy.”
Legislation to repeal the HIT has drawn significant bipartisan support, and for good reason. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business and nearly 90 percent of American businesses have 20 or fewer employees.
“There still seems to be so much uncertainty about the procedures and options for small businesses under the PPACA," said Mike Mitternight, owner and president of Factory Service Agency in Louisiana. "Why is it that the only thing that we know for sure is that the quality of care will not be improved, and that small business will pay more to insure their employees?"
Gina Martin, vice president of Little Rock Tours and Travel in Arkansas said, “Since co-founding my business 10 years ago, we have made it a priority to provide each of our employees with health care coverage, but the cost to do so is only increasing. Unless the HIT is repealed, we will likely be forced to switch plans and further raise the out-of-pocket costs for our employees and their families.”
The two companion bills – S. 603 and H.R. 763 – together have more than 240 bipartisan cosponsors.
The Stop the HIT Coalition represents the nation’s small business owners, their employees and the self-employed who are actively working to repeal the Health Insurance Tax. Since the Coalition’s formation in 2011, it has grown to include more than 35 national organizations, representing millions of small business owners across the country. For more information, please visit www.StopTheHIT.com.