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Support for Repeal of the Health Insurance Tax!

Posted By Jack Lunsford, Interum CEO, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, October 24, 2016

A letter to U.S. Congress Woman Kyrsten Sinema from Jack Lunsford, CEO of ASBA.

Dear Congresswoman Sinema:

I would like to underscore the support of the Arizona Small Business Association and commend you for your efforts to repeal the Health Insurance Tax.  We realize that bipartisan action will be required to stop this harmful HIT, so we are glad you are working to build momentum, especially among your Democratic colleagues, to protect small businesses and their workers.

As you have said many times, the small business community is truly the backbone of the Arizona economy, representing hundreds of thousands companies.  A tax that is aimed directly at these employers is bad for our state and for the nearly 1 million workers who rely on them for their jobs.

I want to reiterate what I have expressed to you previously:  the HIT was poorly designed from the beginning.  If Congress had set out to enact a policy that would add barriers to providing employee health insurance, reduce the number of people covered, and undermine small businesses all at the same time, they couldn’t have done much better than the HIT.  This tax achieves exactly the opposite of what is needed in the healthcare market. At a time when everyone is looking to increase affordability and access, the HIT is taking us in the other direction.  Small businesses were already struggling to recover in this economy.

Now the HIT is making things worse. Few if any ASBA members can afford to lose $5,000 per employee from the bottom line over a decade.  We hear repeatedly from these business owners that they want to bring on new workers, but they are worried about the healthcare costs due to the HIT.  Others are upset that they are being forced to deduct more from their employees’ paychecks to cover the HIT, and they feel bad about the damage that can do to a family’s finances.

ASBA members are particularly dismayed that they and their employees are the ones being asked to pay the price of the HIT.  Nearly 90 percent of small businesses get their health insurance through the fully insured market, but most large companies do not.  The HIT therefore is just another example of giving corporate interests a free pass and handing the bill to the little guy.  It’s not right, and it’s not good public policy.

ASBA is glad to have you on our side, fighting against this misguided, damaging, and unfair tax.  News of the one-year moratorium was well received by the small business community.  Now please keep up the pressure for a permanent HIT repeal.  It’s the only solution that will give Main Street companies the long-range security they need.

With sincere gratitude,

Jack W. Lunsford
Interim President & CEO
Arizona Small Business Association

Tags:  healthcare  HIT Tax  public policy  small business 

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