ESA Votes “No” on H.R. 3962
The Electronic Security Association (ESA), Irving, Texas, is taking a stand against the passing of HR 3962, the “Affordable Health Care for America Act.” Already passed through The U.S. House of Representatives the act would change the way Americans receive their health care coverage. ESA opposes H.R. 3962 because it fails to reduce the growth in healthcare costs and health insurance and threatens to hamper the economic recovery.
“We’re encouraging all of our members to vote ‘no’ because we feel that it’s going to be a major impact on us as employer and employee relationships go,” explained Mike Miller, president of ESA. “Because when you start talking about how you’re going to have the employee mandates and how it’s going to be paid for, that affects the employer and the employee in the long run.”
Key concerns ESA has include:
• Employer mandate tied to a punitive “pay-or-play”: H.R. 3962 combines an employer mandate with a “pay-or-play” tax. Aside from the overly prescriptive tests an employer who provides coverage must meet, the payroll tax penalties threaten both those who do and do not provide coverage.
• Surtax: 75 percent of small businesses are structured as pass through entities and pay their business taxes at the individual level. More than one-third of small businesses employing 20 to 250 employees would face the tax. Finally, since the tax is not indexed for inflation, the effect of the tax will creep downward, making more and more businesses vulnerable to a tax increase.
• Payroll tax penalty: This legislation requires that all employers with a payroll of $500,000 or more pay a payroll tax of up to eight percent if they do not provide “qualified” health insurance to their employees.
• Public option: A government-run plan cannot compete fairly with the private market, and ultimately is funded on the backs of small businesses.
• Big benefit package and more mandates: Small employers typically pay 18 percent more for their healthcare. The benefit packages in H.R. 3962 are far more “benefit rich,” according to the ESA, than plans offered in today’s marketplace and also require some small employers to provide additional benefits that go beyond the scope of current federal law.
• A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report revealed that $1.67 billion would be realized through penalties on employers and individuals. As the cost of the government programs grow, so too will the financial burden placed on small businesses in the form of more penalties, fees and taxes, according to the ESA.