Healthcare costs are constantly on the minds of manufacturers. Almost three fourths of the companies responding to a recent NAM survey said rising healthcare insurance costs are a primary business challenge for them. So we’re glad to see that these concerns are resonating in Congress where House Small Business Health and Technology Subcommittee Chair Chris Collins (R-NY) today held a hearing to take a look at the impact on small businesses of the new fee on health insurance fee, set to kick in next year.
The fee, which was included in the healthcare reform law, will raise some $100 billion from health insurance providers over the next ten years. And since many small businesses obtain their employees’ health care coverage from these insurance companies, these additional fees are likely to be felt in premium costs. Indeed, the fee could raise the cost of employer-sponsored insurance by 2 to 3 percent in 2014, imposing a cost of nearly $5,000 per family by 2020 according to a study released earlier this year by the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation.
Fortunately, Congress still has an opportunity to avert this crisis before it starts. On the House side, Rep. Charles Boustany has introduced bipartisan legislation —H.R. 763 — to repeal this annual fee on health insurers and a similar bill — S.603—has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). Manufacturers urge lawmakers to repeal this job killing tax ASAP.