Health Insurance Tax to Increase Costs to Small Businesses and Families

Starting January first, small business owners and families across the country will see their health insurances bills increase dramatically. That is unless a proposed bill passes to delay the health insurance tax for two years.

Jeff Hinz; Small Business Owner: "It's called the Health Insurance Tax. HIT. H-I-T. It's more appropriately called 'the hidden insurance tax' because it's something you don't noticeably see."

A new tax has small business owners, well the ones who know about it, very upset.

Jeff Hinz; Small Business Owner: "There is absolutely zero benefit to me, my business, my customers, my employees, this community."

If this bill is not repealed it would do two things: tack on hundreds of dollars to almost 71,000 small businesses AND raise premiums for nearly 200,000 workers. And our senators both had something to say about it.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp introduced a bill in October to delay the tax by 2 years.

CG Heitkamp: "My bill would to delay and mitigate the impact of the Health Insurance Tax so we're better supporting families and businesses. It's encouraging that across the state and country, I've heard an outpouring of support for my bill from businesses, individuals, and families alike because they need stable premiums and health care costs they can rely on."

Senator John Hoeven said that although legislation voted upon in the summer failed by one vote, he will continue to work to repeal the tax.

CG Hoeven: "The health insurance tax is another example of how Obamacare has raised health care costs and limited options for North Dakotans. Congress has recognized this and delayed the tax in the past. The health care reform legislation I voted for earlier this summer would have repealed this costly tax. While that legislation failed by one vote, we continue working to repeal this tax and to make health care more affordable."

Repealing the tax has the support of several business associations across the state, including the retailers.

Mike Rud; President of ND Retail Association: "With margins as tight as they are, it's a huge concern when you have to go when you have to throw out this kind of money without any real, that we can see, any real benefit."

It's forced business owners to think about tough decisions they may have to make next year.

Jeff Hinz; Small Business Owner: "With that increase, you either have to cut hours or we have to cut people. This first obvious thing is: ok we won't hire full time people. This is levied primarily on full-timers, so we'd have to make the choice of part-timers becoming more important to us."

Mike Rud; President of ND Retail Association: "It's getting harder and harder for the average business person to make it. And this would be just one more dagger."

None of the tax money small businesses and families would pay for their heath insurance coverage would stay in the state.
Business owners and families would pay $500 more per insured person with the health insurances tax starting on January first. 

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