Under the health care reform bill recently signed into law by President Obama, both premiums and uncertainty will rise in employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Employers with over 50 employees will be forced to offer coverage or pay a $2,000-per-employee fine. Businesses will also face a $3,000-per-employee fine if the coverage that they offer is deemed "unaffordable" for employees (if the employee opts-out and gets a subsidy in exchange). This means that an employer with low-income employees who offers comprehensive, affordable coverage could nevertheless be fined just as much as an employer who offers no coverage at all. In addition, it is estimated that 219,961 small businesses could be subjected to the fines. The percentage of employees employed by small businesses which could be subject to the fine is projected to be 26.4 million workers, or 22 percent of the entire private-sector workforce.
“Over 90 percent of working families are employed by small businesses,” said TAB President Bill Hammond. “President Obama promised in January that he would focus on job recovery. Unfortunately, he has signed into law a job-killing piece of legislation that, due to uncertainty and increased administration costs, will continue to freeze hiring for small businesses in Texas. For many months, employers have faced extreme ambiguity in how this bill would affect their businesses. The Obama Administration offered no quarter in their overzealous power-grab. As a result, this jobless recovery will continue. At the very least, the hiring freezes that cripple the pocketbooks of the unemployed will continue cause of this law. This legislation spits in the eye of those struggling to find jobs.”
"This healthcare reform bill is the biggest tax increase in American history. Small business is hit with new taxes, new reporting requirements, and more mandates and paperwork under a larger and more powerful Internal Revenue Service," said Will Newton, executive director of NFIB/Texas. "Small business owners are overwhelmingly opposed to this new law and terrified of the impact it will have on their livelihood and the livelihood of those they employ."
“This bill will hurt the prospects for job-creation even further,” said Pete Havel, Regional Director of the US Chamber of Commerce. “While we all agree for the need for common-sense changes, this bill does nothing to solve many of the most serious problems our health care system faces. Small business owners want to do right by their employees, but this bill will make health care benefits even more expensive. The House, the Senate and the President had an opportunity to go down the right path of creating a health care system that created new opportunities to cover the uninsured. Instead, they created job killing legislation that will put health care benefits for millions at risk. In medical school, doctors are taught to first do no harm. It is time Washington learn this lesson as well.”