kentucky voices

Proposed health care tax a burden

Insurers will pass costs to struggling small businesses

October 8, 2011 

Most of us have a connection to a small business in our neighborhood. Whether it is where we stop for our morning coffee, where we pick up our dry cleaning or where we take our family for dinner, most people in Kentucky have a daily connection to this crucial component of our economy.

Unfortunately, this might begin to fade because of a new, burdensome tax in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that threatens the ability of small business to continue to create jobs in Kentucky.

The Health Insurance Tax will derail the economic stability stemming from small business unless we can convince our representatives in Washington to do something about it.

There are nearly 340,000 small businesses in Kentucky that account for 96.7 percent of our state's employers.

And while Kentucky views small business as an important job-creation force, Washington seems to view it as a way to pay its bills. By assessing the HIT, Washington plans to take $87 billion away from small-business owners between 2014 and 2019 alone.

At a time when the word "trillion" is used so casually, "billions" may not register much in the minds of Washington lawmakers, but this loss will certainly be felt here in the Bluegrass State.

The HIT, one of the largest taxes in the health care law, will dramatically increase the cost of health insurance plans for small-business owners and will impede their ability to hire more of our unemployed family members and neighbors.

Advocates of health care reform will tell you that this is a tax on the large insurance companies, but the reality is that this tax that will be handed down to struggling families across our state.

With 9.6 percent unemployment, Kentucky small businesses are not in a financial position to bail out Washington's expensive health care policies.

Under the HIT, 26 million employees across the country will face a nearly $5,000 increase in their health insurance premiums within the decade.

Once again, we are seeing how Washington's policies are taking more and more money out of our pockets and away from our state.

Fortunately, there is still time for us to convince our representatives to act against the HIT. Legislation is currently moving through the halls of the House and the Senate to repeal the HIT, which goes into effect in 2014.

Our Kentucky representatives need to stand with their constituents and fight to protect their businesses by supporting the initiatives against the HIT.

Kentucky small businesses provide our state with the stability that it needs to improve the economy, and we have to stand together to derail yet another Washington threat against job creation.

Janey Moores is the CEO of BJM Staffing and past president of the Lexington chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

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