NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 3, 2009

The health care reform bill pending in the House expands Medicaid, increases taxes, penalizes businesses who don't offer insurance and creates a new government controlled insurance market.  And after all that, it still leaves people uninsured, says Terry Neese, a distinguished fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.  

Under the bill that the House of Representatives may vote on, small businesses will be responsible for helping foot the bill for new government spending and at a time when they can least afford it.

To pay for the new spending, the House Democrats are proposing:

  • A surtax on those individuals who make $280,000 or more (the tax would range from 1 percent to 5.4 percent). 
  • The tax continues to rise the more money you make.
  • The proposal essentially doesn't include any exemptions for S corporations or other small businesses, many who file as individuals for tax purposes.

This new tax will push the top tax rate in 39 of the 50 states to more than 50 percent.  But the costs don't stop with the surtax:

  • The bill includes a new 8 percent payroll tax on employers who fail to provide "acceptable" health insurance to their employees. 
  • When all is said and done, business with payrolls of $500,000 or more will be subject to this penalty.

Most small businesses are struggling with rising costs, smaller margins, and are simply unable to pay for new taxes or mandates.  Ideas like expanding Health Savings Accounts or allowing small business owners to band together across state lines to pool their resources for health care coverage are better alternatives than new taxes and more mandates.

Source:  Terry Neese, "Oklahomans Have Much at Stake in the Health Care Debate,", September 2, 2009.

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