The International Housewares Association (IHA) is an organization focused on building a premier global marketplace for home products. We work to maximize the success of the housewares industry, which in turn benefits our economy. As housewares venues expand and add locations, they employ workers and produce quality goods. However, if the health insurance tax (HIT) included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) goes into effect in less than six months, the success of these job creators and economy boosters will be in jeopardy.
The goods our members provide are used by families and small businesses in communities across the country. Unfortunately, the HIT limits small business growth and adds to families’ financial burden, which in turn means they cannot make purchases from our members. According to a study by former CBO Director Doug Holtz-Eakin, the HIT will cost employers approximately $500 per family annually for health care coverage. If a small business shoulders this cost, it means they will not be able to expand and patronize our members. Similarly, if employees are forced to pay for some of this cost, their household budgets will be limited to the basic necessities.
The HIT is important because it has negative effects on the way companies do business. Because businesses are guided by long range planning, the uncertainty created by the HIT renders owners unsure of how they can afford to continue to provide health care or even maintain current staff levels. We supported legislation that creates an environment that supports economic and small business growth. The HIT, however, is not affordable and hurts the bottom line of many businesses.
Over a decade, it is estimated that the HIT will cost more than $100 billion to fund, and this is something businesses cannot afford. Please take a moment to contact your legislators to remind them of the consequences of the HIT. With implementation of the tax less than six months away, time is running out.