The economy has already taken a deep toll on small businesses across the country, especially right here in West Virginia. Because of economic conditions, I haven't been able to bring on any employees, so I run my tractor sales and service company alone. I've owned this company for about 50 years, so I've seen a lot. Small businesses have been closing down because they can't get ahead. Any additional financial strain on small businesses won't be good for either West Virginia's economy or the national economy.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, a tax was implemented on Jan. 1 of this year to help fund it through the next decade. This tax, the "Health Insurance Tax," or HIT, is expected to cost small businesses and self-employed individuals an additional $500 for each covered individual. This means it will be more costly to pay healthcare premiums, for both the business owner and any covered employees. What is even more outrageous is that big corporations won't see their premiums go up, as they are largely self-insured. The cost of the HIT will fall solely on the small business community, ultimately making it even more difficult for us to get ahead. It simply isn't right that small businesses are targeted by this unfair tax.
S.603, the Jobs and Premium Protection Act, is our last chance to have the tax repealed this year. I have already reached out to my elected officials to express my opposition to this tax. I hope others in West Virginia, especially if they are concerned about small businesses and the economy, will do the same. Urge the repeal of the HIT.