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Opinion: Congress should address health insurance tax
U.S. Capitol
The U.S. Capitol is seen at the end of the day Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Washington. - photo by Associated Press

Helping Small Businesses: Halting the Health Insurance Tax

As we all know, Congress has been encumbered in partisanship all fall. It’s time it does the people’s work before the end of the year. Few issues are as wide reaching as the Health Insurance Tax — it ultimately raises health care costs for 142 million Americans and will undercut the economy, and more than half of the cost of the entire tax is paid by working- and middle-class households in the end.

But it is particularly burdensome for Georgia’s small-business community as well. The HIT is assessed on insurers, but it affects the 88% of small businesses that purchase their health care plans through the fully insured marketplace. 

As someone who has several small businesses, I appreciate the struggle many entrepreneurs face. Starting a business often means giving up a good job and investing your life savings, not to mention the time and emotional energy involved. Small-business owners are the backbone of our economy; they are the first ones in and the last ones out every day, and they provide jobs, expand the local tax base and contribute to our communities. 

So, we deserve unequivocal support from our elected officials. We need our elected officials’ support to help pass HR 1398 and S 172, the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act of 2019. Congress has passed similar relief measures in 2015 and 2017, and it is important that it does so ahead of the new year as businesses are planning their own budgets.

Thad Joiner