As surely as the credit card bills that arrive after Christmas, the Health Insurance Tax is coming to town. Only instead of the charges having to be paid by those people who freely gave, HIT makes those who had no part in doling out the Obamacare goodies get stuck with the bills.
One of the dirty secrets of that law House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi didn't want anyone to read -- ironically titled the "Affordable Care Act" -- is that, rather than making health care more affordable, it is a vehicle to raise taxes on hardworking Americans. And, surprise, surprise, the taxes -- (not) affectionately known as "HIT" -- do not land their full blow until President Obama is well out the door of the White House.
Intended as a way to pay for Obamacare, HIT falls squarely on small business. That leads, in turn, to higher costs for hardworking families -- particularly those seriously struggling to get by. More than half of the entire tax is paid by those with incomes between $10,000 and $50,000. And estimates show the tax will cost small businesses and families $5,000 in higher premiums over a decade.
Last December Congress suspended the tax until 2018. But merely postponing the tax is hardly a fair way to treat American workers. Like all taxes do, HIT discourages the market from producing the thing targeted by the tax. As a recent study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute ("EBRI") found, that during the first seven years of Obamacare (2008-2015):
* Health care insurance coverage dropped by 36% among small businesses with fewer than 10 employees,
* There was a 26% decrease in coverage for small businesses with 10 to 24 employees, and
* Coverage reduced 10% for employers with 25 to 99 employees.
The evidence is in that Obamacare, with all of its "affordable" regulations and taxes, isn't a good value at all. It needs to be repealed and replaced in the new Congress under the leadership of the new President. Permanently blocking President Obama's parting punch of the American taxpayer will be an important first step.