Editorial – Letters, The State
The S.C. director of the National Federation of Independent Business continues his organization’s misleading information campaign about the new health-care law (“Replace health law with reforms that work,” Friday). As the president and CEO of the 5,000-member S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce and vice chair of the 150,000-member American Sustainable Business Council, I need to correct the record.
First, there is no health-insurance tax on small businesses. There will be a tax on insurance companies to help pay some of the costs of Obamacare; but the law also prohibits insurers from spending more than 20 percent of your premium dollars on administration, marketing, profits and taxes. Since most insurers already have reached this 20 percent threshold and will be refunding $4.3 million in premiums to S.C. small businesses by the end of this month, they will not be able to pass on any new taxes.
Nor will there be “new regulations that will crush small businesses.” Businesses with fewer than 50 employees, or 97 percent of all businesses, have no obligation to provide health insurance and therefore are not facing new regulations. But 45,560 small businesses in South Carolina with fewer than 25 employees can take advantage of the law’s health insurance tax credits, a number the NFIB calls “very few”.
The federation is correct in noting that businesses with 50 or more workers will have some shared responsibility for the health insurance of their employees. They must either provide insurance or pay a fee. It says this will be an incentive to businesses to remain small, and therefore the entire law should be repealed.
But 97 percent of businesses with 50 or more employees already offer health insurance, because they see it as a necessary part of their compensation package. So the NFIB wants to throw out all the benefits of Obamacare that do and will make health insurance more affordable for all of us because of its concern for one out of every thousand businesses that will have a shared-responsibility decision to make.
While no law is perfect, Obamacare is making health insurance more affordable for small businesses.
Frank Knapp Jr.
President & CEO, S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce