Dear Editor: 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 (HIT)—it ultimately raises healthcare 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 percent of small businesses that purchase their healthcare 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. With just a week left on the legislative calendar, we need our elected officials’ support to help pass H.R.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.