Robert F. Graboyes

Robert F. Graboyes

Robert F. Graboyes is the senior health care adviser at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Washington, D.C.

It will ravage small business

The Senate bill and reconciliation package will ravage small business. How ironic, given the endlessly repeated, "Let's reform health care for the benefit of small business."

What does the original Senate bill (HR 3590) mean for small business? It means higher taxes and higher insurance costs. There's a new tax on health insurance policies that small businesses buy, but not on those that big businesses and labor unions buy. A painful employer mandate will lower wages, slash jobs, and discourage small firms from growing. This mandate uniquely and arbitrarily falls much harder on construction firms, though the bill never bothers to define what a construction firm is. There is are new and onerous red-tape requirements. A new payroll tax will devour funds that small business owners set aside to reinvest in their firms; while it's nominally a "Medicare" tax, it sets a dangerous precedent by siphoning funds out of Medicare into other uses. A tax credit is supposed to ease the burden on small business, but it is of limited value and short duration.

What does the Reconciliation Act (HR 4872) mean for small business? It takes the Senate bill's employer mandates and makes them even more expensive. It applies these mandates to part-time workers, making it undesirable to hire high school and college students, firm owners' family members, and people who spend most of their time caring for children. A new and unprecedented tax on investment income will discourage the saving and investment that leads to job creation.

Beyond the effects on small business, the bills fail at the basics of health-care reform. Costs will continue rising rapidly - perhaps even faster than before. Tens of millions will remain uninsured indefinitely. The CBO's prediction of lower federal deficits rests on accounting gimmicks that Congress forced them to use. Improvements in quality of health care are an afterthought.

Worst of all, these job destroying provisions coincide with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

By Robert F. Graboyes  |  March 19, 2010; 4:34 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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tonyjm posted on March 19, 2010 9:12 PM
"...You will sing a different tune when you are hit with all the higher taxes and insurance bills and you have to get in line to see your doc that is if we still have docs that want to practice under the tax and spend system."

Hey tony! I just got a huge rate increase and my insurer says a test I need is really a procedure not covered but if it's cancerous then they will cover it but no guarantees they won't cancel my policy.
How's that working for you?
BTW, what are doc's going to do ... become plumbers or carpenters?

Posted by: knjincvc | March 19, 2010 10:01 PM
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For the life of me I don't understand why any business would offer health care to its employees. Think about it, according to reports there are six applicants for every opening ... so why offer benefits that are only going to drag a business into the toilet. Hire an employees and tell them "I'm paying you X amount for health care to buy on your own ... have fun ... NEXT!

And, why are insurance companies offering coverage for pregnancies, of course many are now calling pregnancy a "PRE-CONDITION", I mean why even cover it?

Abortion ... why cover it even it a woman's life is in danger ... she's pregnant ... hello ... can you say "PRE-CONDITION"?

Senator Barrasso (R-WY) had it right ... Americans only need catastrophic health insurance ... then they will become more informed health care consumers.
Of course "We The People" are paying for his gold plated life time health care and pension benefits.

Posted by: knjincvc | March 19, 2010 9:51 PM
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Chaotician you don't know what you are talking about. If you believe what you have written, I have some lake front property in Kansas, I need to sell you. You will sing a different tune when you are hit with all the higher taxes and insurance bills and you have to get in line to see your doc that is if we still have docs that want to practice under the tax and spend system.

Posted by: tonyjm | March 19, 2010 9:12 PM
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You should be a strong advocate of Universal Health Care for all citizens paid by a part of the Universal VAT paid for all business activity that replaces our Income tax which has become primarily a vehicle for bought congressman and women to pay back their owners. You should have been on the front lines demanding universal coverage and denouncing allowing the pernicious parasitic Insurance companies to continue their murder and robbery!

Posted by: Chaotician | March 19, 2010 6:59 PM
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