The return of the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) means higher costs and fewer jobs for hardworking Americans. Absent immediate Congressional action to delay the HIT, small businesses and families will face $500 on average in higher premiums for 2020. To make matters worse, the increased cost burden on small businesses from the HIT could result in the U.S. workforce being reduced by 152,000 to 286,000 jobs over a decade.
In California, where small business owner Kasey Cotulla owns three printing companies and employs 100 individuals, the HIT directly undermines financial support for his employees and his future growth plans across communities within the state. Kasey is one of over 3.7 million small business owners in The Golden State who are disproportionately burdened by the 2020 HIT.
Indeed, the 2020 HIT could result in up to 23,300 fewer jobs within the state and a decline in the state’s GDP by up to $3.9 billion over a decade. For Kasey, the HIT presents a harsh reality. “Right now, I pay 80% of [my employees’] health insurance costs. So this tax costs my companies roughly $50,000 a year,” relayed Kasey. “Like everyone, we need to decide if we have to make employees pay more, or reduce benefits, or just not hire as many people. None of those are good choices. We need to delay – and eliminate if possible – the health insurance tax.”
Luckily for Cotulla and California’s small businesses, they have a strong champion within their state in Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA. Repeatedly, Rep. Bera has stood on the side of small businesses by working across the aisle to introduce or support bipartisan legislation that would provide much-needed relief to the country’s small businesses. In February, Rep. Bera introduced H.R. 1398, bipartisan legislation to delay the HIT for 2020 and 2021, saving up to $1,000 on average over two years for small business employees and their families.
“Failing to pass this bill, which would ensure the HIT is delayed for another two years, would cause millions of American families to see higher health insurance premiums,” noted Rep Bera. “In a time of rising premiums and health care costs, preventing the health insurance tax from adding to those costs is necessary as we work to stabilize the insurance markets and lower health care costs. We should pass this bill today.”
We urge Congress to prioritize HIT relief efforts in the coming weeks and support small business owners who need the certainty of legislative action to plan ahead for their future. The time is now – delay the 2020 HIT.