(The opinions expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the New Hampshire Journal. The Journal welcomes opinions on all sides of issues and from all candidates for office.)
By BRUCE BERKE
In 2010, President Obama passed an overhaul of the United State’s healthcare system that was promised to increase quality and affordability, expand public and private coverage, and lower costs for individuals and the government. But hidden away in the darkest corners of this monstrous bill is Provision 9010, referred to as the Health Insurance Tax (HIT).
The HIT was originally messaged as a “fee” on insurance companies but is instead a wolf in sheep’s clothing as it is one of the largest tax increases included in Obamacare.
Originally levied on health insurance companies who operate in the fully-insured marketplace, the HIT has a direct effect on our small businesses. When insurance companies are forced to pay taxes and fees, these costs are then shifted onto the consumers. Small businesses are 88% of the fully-insured marketplace and will be paying the majority of the Health Insurance Tax through higher premiums.
The HIT will raise $101.7 billion in its first 10 years and $208 billion its second ten years. 1.7 million small businesses, 11 million employees and the self-employed that purchase on the individual market and their 23 million employees will feel the impact.
The biggest concern of small businesses is the current cost of healthcare. The HIT will be responsible for stifling job creation in the Granite State, as employers cannot bear the burden of higher healthcare costs.
A repeal of the Health Insurance Tax is necessary and fortunately for New Hampshire’s small businesses, Senator Ayotte is standing with the Granite State. Senator Ayotte is a co-sponsor of S. 183, “The Jobs and Premium Protection Act”, which will repeal the HIT provision in Obamacare.
We thank Senator Ayotte and urge Senator Shaheen to join with the small business community in New Hampshire to repeal this hidden and unfair tax.
(Bruce Berke is the state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.)