The business community doesn’t want the Democrats’ health care bill for reasons that include requiring employers to either pay insurance directly for employees or pay into a health insurance exchange.
It’s not Big Business that’s worried. It’s small businesses generating from $ 500,000 to $ 1,000,000 a year in revenue and employing 20 people or fewer.
The National Federation of Independent Business states it wants health care reform and costs have been a major concern for its members for many years. However, HR 3692 that Speaker Pelosi wants to put to a vote immediately includes has a surcharge that can add an additional burden to a small business struggling to make a profit.
On its Website www.nfib.com, the NFIB asks members to “tell your Representative that you do not support ‘The America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009’ (H.R. 3962) because it combines a destructive employer mandate and a punitive payroll tax that are paid for on the backs of small business – to the tune of $167 million in new penalties on small businesses and individuals who can least afford it.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the government mandate to pay up to 72.5% for an individual’s care or 65% for an individual or pay a penalty to the insurance exchange.
“Employers will be required to either provide a government-mandated level of health care coverage regardless of the employer’s ability to pay or face a penalty of 8% of payroll,” said Bruce Josten, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President of Government Affairs.
Josten opposes what he says are “an array of new taxes.”
“This includes a $461 billion surtax that will devastate many small businesses. This tax surcharge would raise the effective income tax rate for many taxpayers and business owners who are structured as S-Corps, that pay their taxes at individual tax rates.”
Josten also says the public option does not solve the problem of affordable and quality care.
“The inclusion of a government-run public plan combined with the impact of Medicare, Medicaid, and other public plans would directly result in a cost shift to other private payers and do nothing to address the underlying problems to make coverage affordable.”
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal online published a thorough comparison of various health care proposals including the Senate, House Democratic version, House Republican version and President Obama’s proposal.
Why shouldn’t members of Congress take into account the serious financial impact their legislation may have on business?
Recently, I covered a roundtable discussion on transportation hosted by Democratic Congresswoman Laura Richardson who represents the Long Beach, CA area.
She made the comment that while health care is important jobs are even more important. She made the comment that she’s for health care reform but if people don’t have jobs then they’re not going to have health care.
Now that national unemployment has reached its highest point since 1983, maybe Congress should re-consider how the cost of a more than $ 1 trillion dollar health care package will affect businesses, small businesses, and the resulting jobs they may not be able to produce.