Colorado is home to more than 600,000 small businesses that make the Centennial State one of the most vibrant economic centers in the country. More than one million Coloradoans, including Barbara Myrick, are the vital lifeline for the state’s growing economy. But while Barbara and small business owners across the state are focused on expanding their economic reach and supporting their employees, the year-over-year increases in health care costs threaten the very economic growth and stability for these companies.
One pressing cost challenge facing Barbara and her company, B&M Construction, Inc., is the return of the ACA’s health insurance tax (HIT). Absent immediate Congressional action to suspend the tax in the next several weeks, Barbara will face more than $400 in additional costs for each family that she covers – a cost that undermines her goal of strengthening her company and employee benefits for those on the frontline of serving Colorado businesses and customers.
“For a small construction company like mine, the health insurance tax will significantly impact how we offer our health care package,” Barbara said. “This tax will influence how we provide raises, bonuses, and other benefits, not to mention business investments.”
Already, policymakers on both sides of the aisle are pushing for legislation that would suspend or repeal the tax entirely. Sen. Cory Gardner has taken a leading role in building bipartisan support for suspending the HIT before it adds to the cost of coverage for the nation’s small businesses, including those in Colorado. Sen. Gardner lead the introduction of S.172, the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act, which would suspend the tax for two years, providing more than $1,000 on average in savings on health insurance premiums for small businesses across the country.
“Without Congressional action, the Health Insurance Tax will impose fees on nearly 142 million American’s health care coverage in 2020,” said Senator Gardner. “I’m proud to lead this bipartisan legislation that will make sure Americans are not forced to needlessly pay even more for their health insurance at a time when health care costs continue to rise.”
With the deadline quickly approaching for small businesses to renew coverage for 2020, it’s now critical that House and Senate leaders take immediate action to suspend the HIT before it drives up the cost of insurance. Small business owners like Barbara are waiting for Congress to protect the millions of employees who are depending on this relief the most.