Anchorage small businesses discuss HIT during tour with Senator Begich
ANCHORAGE, August 14, 2013 – Yesterday, the Stop the HIT Coalition, a broad-based group representing small business communities throughout the nation, joined several small businesses in Anchorage, Alaska for a tour with U.S. Senator Mark Begich to discuss local concerns about the health insurance tax (HIT).
“I was happy to learn that Senator Begich took the time to hear from local businesses about how the HIT will have a serious impact on small businesses throughout our state,” said Al Tamagni, owner of Pension Services International and Chair of the National Federation of Independent Business/Alaska Leadership Council. “Finding a way to avoid saddling small businesses with these increased costs needs to be a top priority of our elected officials in Washington.”
The HIT is a new tax included as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While initially assessed to companies that sell health insurance policies on the fully-insured market, a Congressional Budget Office report has said that these costs are likely to be passed on to consumers. The HIT will cost an estimated $101.7 billion over the next decade, increasing the costs of the average family health care plan by an estimated $5,000 over that same time. Eighty-eight percent of small businesses purchase health insurance policies that will be impacted by the HIT.
The tour featured stops at several Anchorage businesses, including ProComm Alaska, a two-way radio dealership and service company, and A Transmission Exchange, an automotive repair and maintenance shop.
“For small businesses like ours, any increase in costs is magnified,” said Linda Peters, owner of ProComm Alaska. “There is no way to increase costs to small business in a fixed market without reducing benefits to small business employees. The HIT hurts our future and threatens the stability of the small business sector. Small businesses are the real drivers of the economy but more important, they are likely your employer and they’re under fire here.”