Thursday, May 27, 2010

How ObamaCare will harm small businesses

Dan Danner, who is the head of the National Federation of Independent Business, writes today in the WSJ about how ObamaCare is going to damage small businesses. There are going to be a whole slew of new taxes and other costs imposed on businesses.
One of these new taxes is a so-called health insurance fee. It's a massive $8 billion tax (that escalates to $14.3 billion by 2018) on insurance companies based on their market share. This tax will be paid almost exclusively by small businesses and individuals because the law specifically excludes self-insured plans, the plans that most big businesses and labor unions offer, from having to pay the tax.

While the health insurance fee was designed to "go after" large health-insurance companies, the reality is that insurers aren't simply going to absorb this new tax; it will be passed on to customers. Specifically, it will be passed on to the plans that 87% of small businesses and individuals buy. A study by the Federal Policy Group published last October found that the amount of taxes passed on to the typical family of four could be $500 or more per year.

Adding insult to injury, the law also requires all businesses to issue IRS 1099 forms to document every business-to-business transaction of $600 or more. To someone who's never run a business, this may sound like nothing. But Congress hopes to raise $17 billion in added tax revenues and fees from this new mandate. That's hardly nothing.

The burden of raising that expected revenue falls again on the backs of small business owners who already suffer under unmanageable federal paperwork burdens. What's worse, this new reporting requirement has absolutely nothing to do with health-care reform. It was included to help pay for the nearly trillion-dollar price tag of the bill. Why should small business owners have to pay for a bill that causes them so much harm?
There is a so-called small business tax credit in the bill, but as Danner points out, the credit is quite complex and is only available for six years while they will be paying the taxes and cost increases forever.

When will Democrats understand that harming small business harms our entire economy?