Obamacare & Small Biz, another view…Take 2
17 Jul, 2012
The Affordable Care Act will result in one of the largest small business tax hikes in our nation’s history, levying an estimated $32 billion and hurting businessEditor’s Note: The opinions expressed are those of the writer. Latin Business Today strives to provide a forum to exchange ideas. To read another opinion on the Affordable Care Act, check out Obamacare and Small Business …Take One.
Now that the Supreme Court has spoken declaring the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act a tax, businesses–particularly small business owners–will need to brace for one of the biggest tax hikes in our country’s history. This is especially unfortunate as President Barack Obama said back in 2009 that, “the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession, because that would just suck up–take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.”
But with the Supreme Court’s recent decision, business owners will have to contend with the costs of providing health insurance to all of their employees or pay onerous fees in order to comply with the law.
In the single minded determination to sign into law a healthcare bill, the President failed to consider the real- life impact the mandate would pose on small business owners. Small business owners like Scott Womack, owner of several IHOP franchise restaurants in Indiana and Ohio, that will have to provide health insurance to all full-time employees beginning in 2014. Employing nearly 1,000 full-and part-time workers, Womack simply doesn’t know how he’ll generate the revenue to do just that. What’s more, the mandate will likely prevent him from expanding his business and hiring new employees. And with unemployment dangerously hovering close to the double digits, we desperately need small business owners–the backbone of our economy–to expand, not contract.
The Affordable Care Act’s toll on the private sector has been confirmed by independent analysis, such as Congressional Budget Director, Doug Elmendorf’s testimony before the House Budget Committee, predicting that the law would result in an estimated 800,000 fewer U.S. jobs. And according to my colleagues in the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, the Affordable Care Act will impose $52 billion in new taxes on businesses.
If our country is to climb out of this serious economic recession, small business owners will have to lead the way providing economic opportunities for the millions of Americans out of work.
And if the Hispanic unemployment rate is to drop precipitously from the current national rate of 11 percent, Hispanic business owners will need to play a large role in the economic recovery our country desperately needs. As the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce notes, the close to 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses generate nearly $400 billion in annual revenue. These businesses will now need to contend with the costs and regulations of the President’s health care law.
Polling suggests that Hispanics overwhelmingly favor the President’s healthcare law while also being deeply concerned about the economy and the unemployment rate. If Hispanics, like all Americans, are looking for a good place to start as to why we’re stuck in this deep economic funk, look no further than the Affordable Care Act and its costly regulations and mandates on small businesses.
Israel Ortega, editor of The Heritage Foundation’s Spanish language website, www.libertad.org, is a frequent contributor to Spanish language newspapers and radio and television programming. You can follow him on Twitter: @IzzyOrtega