Small Business and Health Care

If you are a small business owner, health care reform has little to do with politics, and everything to do with how it impacts your business. Try telling that to our representatives in Washington, who seem to bat it about like a cat playing with a mouse. Popular opinion concludes that health care reform is a costly undertaking for small businesses. But, is “popular opinion” right? Some experts say no.
In fact, some experts say health care reform is good for small business, and repeal would be harmful. A recent article from Gaebler.com, for example, claims that repeal of the healthcare reform would be “dire” for small business. They cite a recent study from U.S. PIRG, a coalition of public interest research groups, which focused on the benefit of tax credits.
“If the federal healthcare law were repealed, it would result in more than 4 million small businesses losing critical tax credits and a jump of more than $3,000 per year in employer-based health insurance costs. Additionally, the research predicts that with these added costs, the small business sector would be forced to cut a many as 4.5 million jobs per year by the end of the decade.”
Likewise, John Arensmeyer of Bloomberg Businessweek recently ran an opinion piece to the very same affect. He concludes:
The health-care law helps small business owners provide benefits by offering them tax credits for up to 35 percent of their health insurance costs (rising to 50 percent, beginning in 2014). A report we released last year with Families USA, a nonprofit consumer health-care advocate, found nearly 84 percent of small employers nationwide (more than four million companies) eligible for the tax credit on 2010 tax returns if the employers choose to offer coverage. No matter how you look at these numbers, it's clear that the value of these credits isn't "low" and that it's incorrect to say "few" small business will be eligible.
More information can be found in those articles and their respective sources, but if nothing else the lesson they teach is to be aware of the tax credits. Though there is much talk about repealing the health care law, most analysts say repeal is unlikely. If you are a small business owner, it is likely you will have to come to terms with reform, so it makes sense to educate yourself on the availability to tax credits to help defray the costs. More information can be found on the IRS.gov website.

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