Meet Chad Baus. He is the owner of Car1, a used car dealership in Archbold, Ohio. Like most small business owners, he works hard to keep his business going and his employees happy.
But things have gotten a lot harder for Mr. Baus since the new healthcare law was enacted last year. His insurance provider stopped selling the PPO plan he offered his employees, and the new coverage – the cheapest he could find – costs 40 percent more. The increased costs and uncertainty mean that the dealership will forego hiring.
The same goes for businesses around the country, such as Cottman Corp. out of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, and Medical Imaging Technologies in Colorado Springs. Both saw double-digit increases in the cost of their health insurance after the new healthcare proposal became law. Neither of these companies will be hiring additional employees anytime soon.
Country Insurance in Illinois and Rainbow Logistics in Alabama are also putting off hiring new employees due to uncertainty surrounding the new health care law.
And the list goes on.
The healthcare law is hindering job growth, but don’t take it from me. Take it from Chad Baus, Cottman Corp., and the thousands of other small business owners who have been impacted by the law. We have heard loud and clear from businesses around the country that they want the law repealed. In fact, more than 90 percent of our members favor repeal.
Small businesses have been clear that they would welcome reform that drives down costs. Healthcare costs are constantly increasing with no end in sight, and reform that helps contain costs and provide options for employers would be welcome relief to thousands of small businesses. But the healthcare law we have today only makes things more expensive to operate a small business.
That is why NFIB is leading the charge calling on Congress to make its first order of business to repeal this harmful and convoluted law. I commend the House of Representatives on its fast action to take up legislation to repeal the law. The Senate should follow suit. It is what’s best for the economy, and it’s what the American people want.
Small businesses aren’t just suffering under increased and new healthcare expenses, they are also being crushed by endless new taxes and fees included in the law. For example,
a new tax on the insurance plans most small businesses buy will go into effect in 2014 and ramps up to more than $14.3 billion per year.
There are other new taxes – including two new Medicare taxes, and a tax on tanning services that will hit more than 18,000 businesses nationwide. A costly new paperwork requirement requires businesses to file Form 1099s for every business transaction totaling $600 or more. With every new tax and every new paperwork burden, small businesses will be forced to spend more and more of their time and money on expensive health plans, tax compliance and accountants and less on creating jobs and growing our economy.
Increasing healthcare costs is the number one problem facing small businesses, and small businesses have been clear that they want reform that lowers costs and provides affordable coverage options. Instead, the healthcare law added new taxes, fees and mandates. This isn’t the reform small businesses asked for, and it will not help them overcome the ever-increasing cost of healthcare. It makes things even worse than before in a very difficult economy.
Something needs to be done, and repeal of this law is the best option. Small business owners like Chad Baus are already subject to a barrage of taxes and regulatory burdens as they work to be successful and grow their business. We should make it easier, not harder, for Baus and others to create jobs and grow our economy.
The first and most obvious step is to repeal the healthcare law. Congress should do the right thing and repeal the law to help our nation’s economy get back on its feet and allow small businesses to grow and thrive.
Danner is President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business.