Congressman Bera, M.D. discusses impact of health insurance tax at Folsom small business event
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. visited with members of the Sacramento County business community today to discuss recently introduced legislation that helps protect small businesses and their employees from a new health insurance tax, known as the HIT. The visit was coordinated by the Stop the HIT Coalition, a broad-based group representing the nation’s small business owners, their employees and the self-employed.
Hosted by Chris Hodges and Gene Moynier, the owners of Brothers Boats in Folsom, the event offered local business owners the opportunity to discuss their concerns with future changes to their health care plans and the importance of providing immediate relief from the HIT.
“America was founded on the principle that if you work hard and follow the rules, you’ll have the opportunity to succeed. My career as a doctor and now in Congress has certainly been a testament to that,” said Bera. “We owe it to the millions of Americans who own or work for a small business and are pursuing their own American Dreams to implement policies that will help bring down the sky rocketing cost of health care and foster growth. My bill would provide immediate relief to working families, small businesses and seniors.”
Congressman Bera is a lead sponsor of the Small Business and Family Relief Act, a bipartisan bill introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives that would delay implementation of the HIT for two years, providing relief to small businesses in California and around the country.
The HIT is an often-overlooked tax as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will significantly raise health insurance costs on millions of small businesses. Both the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have concluded that the health insurance tax will be passed onto consumers in the form of higher premiums.
“Running a small business requires dedication, flexibility and a true understanding of the needs of your customers and employees,” Chris Hodges said. “I appreciate that the person we elected to represent us in Washington took the time today to meet with Folsom small businesses, and that he is taking steps to address our concerns.”
“Congressman Bera should be commended for his efforts on behalf of small businesses and families in California and across the country,” Gene Moynier said. “It is our hope that other lawmakers in Washington recognize the value in offering immediate relief from higher health care costs and help support the passage of this important legislation.”
The tax starts at $8.4 billion in 2014, and increases to $11.3 billion in 2015. The way the tax is designed disproportionately impacts individuals who purchase their own health insurance, seniors with Medicare Advantage, and small businesses. In 2014 and 2015 alone it is expected to cost the typical family an additional $660. California is home to 3.4 million small businesses that collectively employ more than half of the state’s workforce.
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. represents Sacramento County. Born and raised in California, Bera is a physician and the only Indian American currently serving in Congress. He’s fighting to rebuild an economy that works for middle class families and to reduce our country’s debt in a responsible way. One of Bera’s first acts in Congress was to help lead the effort to pass the No Budget No Pay Act, which says if members of Congress don’t pass a budget, they don’t get paid. As a co-chair of No Labels' Problem Solvers, he’s working with people from both parties to find bipartisan solutions to our nation’s challenges. He and his wife Janine live in Elk Grove with their daughter Sydra. For more updates on Rep. Bera follow @RepBera on Twitter, like Congressman Bera on Facebook, or visit http://www.bera.house.gov.