Obama Health-Care Law and HIT Will Bring Job Losses, Business Study Finds

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: November 10, 2011 3:55 AM
The National Federation of Independent Business released a study on Wednesday that found that the health insurance tax (HIT), one of the key components of the federal health-care law backed by President Barack Obama, would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs across the Sunshine State in years to come.

The study found that the HIT will lead to increased costs of $5,000 per family by 2020 -- and cost the nation between 125,000 jobs and 249,000 jobs by 2021. Fifty-nine percent of those job losses are expected to come at the expense of small businesses.

Susan Eckerly

Susan Eckerly

“It really is astounding to think that this one provision in the health-care law will target small business and result in 125,000 to 249,000 jobs lost nationally," said Susan Eckerly, senior vice president of federal public policy for NFIB, in a statement on Wednesday. “It’s imperative that Congress work to pass legislation to repeal this tax to not only protect private-sector job creation, but also to protect American families.”

“Florida’s small businesses are already strangled by a multitude of taxes and fees -- being burdened by another tax, especially on health insurance premiums, is something that they cannot afford,” said Bill Herrle, NFIB/Florida’s executive director, in a statement released on Wednesday. “The HIT is a direct tax on jobs, and for the sake of small business and our economy, it needs to be stopped.”

According to the study, 4,700 jobs would be lost in the Sunshine State over the next decade due to HIT; 2,800 of them from small businesses. The study also found the tax would lead to a loss of $1.7 billion in sales over the coming decade.

Bill Herrle

Bill Herrle

“The nation can ill afford any job loss right now, but job losses in the hundreds of thousands will be truly crippling for our economy,” Herrle said.

Herrle took exception to the notion that only large insurers, which would start paying the tax in 2014, would be affected by it.

“The insurance companies aren’t going to absorb this tax -- we’re certain they’re going to pass it through to their policyholders,” said Herrle. “This tax takes dead aim at the small-business insurance market, and it’s going to result in fewer jobs and fewer employees with health-care coverage.

“This means that 61 percent of the Florida private-sector jobs forecast to be lost are jobs that would have been at small businesses,” Herrle added. “In addition to the loss of jobs, the massive loss in sales caused by the HIT will create yet another challenge for small businesses who are already finding it difficult to even turn a profit, let alone expand and hire workers.”

The NFIB, which has about 350,000 small-business members across the nation, has been sharply critical of the health-care law Obama signed. When former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed a constitutional challenge to the law, the NFIB joined on as a co-plaintiff.


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (2)

Tracy McManamon
2:03PM DEC 29TH 2011
This is not happening in the future it has already happened and happening in a big way to any business owner. Just ask one.

Health Care Reform is a disaster
12:08PM NOV 10TH 2011
Yes, the NFIB, that independent bastion that just lost 2:1 in Ohio over their anti-union bill support. That same NFIB that during the 1990's set up the Health Benefits Coalition that actively fought against, and fear-mongered, the Patient's Bill of Rights supported by that lefty John McCain. Yes, of course we can expect them to produce a "fair and balanced" Health Care report and trust their reported job-impacting numbers. I'm sure they'll now try and attach this "independent" report to support the "facts" behind their ongoing law suit against the federal health care law. If it quacks like a duck, it must want to quack.

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