HIT’s chilling effect on small business

Much of the United States received a rude slap of winter weather recently, with a “polar vortex” bringing unseasonably cold temperatures. And while an extra sweater or scarf helped ward off the cold for most people, America’s small businesses will have a much more difficult time dealing with the chilling economic effects of the health insurance tax included in President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The HIT, which will cost more than $100 billion over the first 10 years of its existence, flew under the radar for much of last year as other PPACA-related issues were discussed. But since the tax took effect on January 1, more and more people are taking note of the harmful effects it will have on the tens of millions of people – many of whom are small business employees – that will bear the brunt of the burden. Unfortunately, while the president has gone out of his way to ensure the concerns of large corporations and labor unions about the health care law are addressed, he has not done anything to help the small business owners and everyday people affected by the HIT.

The devastating tax will raise costs on the types of policies 88 percent of small employers purchase for their employees. One such small business, Little Rock Tours and Travel of Little Rock, Ark., was recently profiled by television station KATV. According to Little Rock Tours and Travel owner Gina Martin, the small business may require its employees to pay a portion of their health insurance costs for the first time as a result of rising costs associated with the HIT.

In perfect conditions, a tax like this would be difficult for small businesses to deal with, but when combining it with other factors working against them, it is going to be that much more difficult. For example, The Washington Post recently reported on what it called a second wave of health insurance disruption that will affect small businesses in the coming year. Due to regulations in the health care law, millions of Americans who receive insurance through their employer may see that coverage cancelled by insurance providers. The last thing these folks need is a new, costly tax hanging over them.

America’s small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and deserve to be treated fairly. Contact your Member of Congress to share your concerns about the HIT and follow our Facebook and Twitter pages to stay up-to-date with our efforts to repeal this $100 billion mistake.