Small business to take the HIT from Obamacare

ObamaCare is settled law, you see. It’s the law of the land and you all need to learn to simply move on with your lives. At this point, for better or worse, we surely must know everything there is to be known about the Affordable Care Act. (After all, we had to pass the law to know what’s in the law and we passed it, right?) As it turns out, there may still be some bits and pieces to come which, while not entirely unknown, have not received the same level of scrutiny as the mandates and cancellation of plans and such. One of them is known as the Health Insurance Tax, or HIT. Dan Danner, in a piece for Fox, explains the rather insidious nature of this wrinkle.

To add insult to injury, a hidden tax within the law is coming to light that threatens the very livelihood of thousands of U.S. businesses and millions of American workers. Known as the health insurance tax or HIT, this is a new discriminatory tax on small businesses and their employees that will raise the premiums by as much as $500 per policy per year.

Main Street enterprises are now being faced with the choice of eating the costs, passing it on to their employees, ending coverage altogether or other unexpected decisions impacting their operations and workers.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that the cost of the tax is only going to grow over time – collecting an estimated $145 billion from small businesses in the first ten years alone and making it that much harder for business owners to prepare for the future.

Ironically, during one of the ACA’s many back door deals, large corporations and unions received a carve-out from the HIT, leaving the full burden of the tax to fall on the fully-insured marketplace, where nearly 90 percent of small businesses, their employees and the self-employed purchase their insurance.

Read that last paragraph again. The idea that there are more hidden taxes coming which will negatively impact small business and job growth shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has been paying a modicum of attention to this debate for the past few years. But the way that the unions and major manufacturing interests were able to grab themselves an emergency parachute while small businesses were left holding the tax bill is instructive. The construction of this bill largely took place behind closed doors with crowds of well funded special interests in on the decision making process. If you lacked a seat at that table, the results are now becoming obvious.

There’s already a Stop The Hit website where people can find out more and take action – assuming there is time left for any viable action to be taken. But win or lose, there is an important object lesson here with a wider reach than simply the healthcare debate. When you hear a politician talking about “Comprehensive (Fill in the policy) Reform” and pushing some bill the size of the Greater New York City phone book which they’ve suddenly summoned into existence the night before, run – do not walk – in the opposite direction. If you weren’t in the back room with your own special forces team of lawyers helping to write it, you’re probably in line for the shaft.