Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dan Danner: ObamaCare vs. Small Business - WSJ.com

Dan Danner: ObamaCare vs. Small Business - WSJ.com
Supporters say the law will significantly help small businesses, focusing on the much-talked about small business tax credit. But the reality is that the tax credit is complex and very limited because firms qualify based on number of employees and average wages. The credit, which is only available for a maximum of six years, puts small business owners through a series of complicated "tests" to determine if they qualify and how much they will receive. Fewer than one-third of small businesses even pass the first three (of four) tests to qualify: have 25 employees or less, provide health insurance, and pay 50% of the cost of that insurance.

More importantly, the credit is temporary, but health-care cost increases are permanent. When the credit ends, small businesses will be left paying full price. They'll also be forced to deal with all sorts of new taxes, fees and mandates buried in this 2,000-page law.

One of these new taxes is a so-called health insurance fee. It's a massive $8 billion tax (that escalates to $14.3 billion by 2018) on insurance companies based on their market share. This tax will be paid almost exclusively by small businesses and individuals because the law specifically excludes self-insured plans, the plans that most big businesses and labor unions offer, from having to pay the tax.

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