By Rep. Geoff Davis (KY)
At the heart and soul of our nation’s economy are small businesses. Small businesses are responsible for creating nearly eighty percent of new jobs in recent years. As a former small business owner, I understand the struggles and challenges small business owners and entrepreneurs face in today’s marketplace, especially when it comes to providing employees with health insurance. One of the most beneficial steps we can take to help small business owners grow their business and, in turn, grow our economy, is to reduce the burden of health insurance costs.
President Obama promised to “create conditions for small businesses to grow and thrive and hire more workers.” Unfortunately, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new health care law (H.R. 3590) is showing little hope of any improvements. Broken promises to create affordable health coverage through a $1.2 trillion law will instead leave small businesses with a wave of new taxes, fees and mandates.
Speaker Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have tried to defend the law’s impact on small businesses with the “Small Business Health Care Tax Credit” included in the bill. However, there is a significant catch - most of the small businesses do not even qualify. Small businesses will have to meet a series of requirements to determine if they are eligible for the tax credit and, if so, for how much. Among other criteria, eligible businesses must have twenty-five or fewer employees, have relatively low average employee wages, and pay for 50 percent of employee insurance premiums. Less than a third of small businesses meet even the basic criteria.