Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act

February 19, 2012 by staff 

Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, Small business owners concerned about rising health care costs are worried they may be unable to provide for their employees down the road.

A potential 2014 tax, part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, could force employers to pay an additional $500 annually for each insured employee.

Carrie Leishman, president and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association, said the tax is “a double sting for small businesses” that already buy health insurance for employees.

The tax is expected to raise $8 billion in 2014 and $87 billion from 2014-2019, according to the Stop the HIT Coalition, a group of trade and business associations that oppose the tax.

“It’s not a tax to give you better health care, and it’s not a tax to lower your health care tax for your employees,” she said. “It’s strictly a pay-for tax.”

Leishman has organized six meetings across Delaware to help educate small business owners on the looming tax.

“What makes this so disconcerting is that we’re really trying to regroup and hire more people,” she said. “If people are already nervous about hiring, now they’re going to be hit with a pass-through tax of $500 a person in their business. It’s going to be really hard to be confident about hiring going into 2014.”

William Klemkowski, owner of Jake’s Seafood in Rehoboth Beach, said he makes 3-5 cents from every dollar earned, and that figure has been decreasing.

“It’s not a lot to play with,” he said. “In the restaurant business, (the tax) could easily destroy the industry.”

Mike Meoli, who owns six McDonald’s locations in Sussex County, said he could take a $300,000 hit in the first year of the tax.

“You better brace yourself,” he said. “You better take your head out of the sand and stop thinking that this is going to go away, or that this might not affect you, or maybe a Republican will end up in the White House and repeal this. That is really not sound thinking.”

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