By Frank Knapp
President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
In case you missed Wednesday afternoon’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, all five of our Republican members cast a vote that would result in either small businesses losing health insurance tax credits or forcing them to change health insurance plans. H.R. 3 passed largely along party lines.
All of these elected leaders—Joe Wilson, Tim Scott, Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, and Mick Mulvaney—were made aware of the potential negative impact of H.R. 3 on small businesses. A letter from The South Carolina Small Business Chamber opposing the bill was widely circulated.
Before the vote, I participated in a press conference in front of the Capitol with Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Judy Chu (D-CA) calling on the House to stop the direct attack on small businesses. Rep. Schakowsky even read excerpts of my comments on the House floor during the debate.
Our Republican House members have some “splaining” to do. After you read my comments below, call their offices and let them know that you won’t forget how they put partisan politics above the interests of their small business constituents.
Frank Knapp, President and CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce – Statement at Press Conference in Opposition to HR 3, 5/4/2011
A story yesterday in LifeSiteNews.Com said that H.R. 3 can have a historic impact on the future of the pro-life movement.
But what H.R. 3 really is – is an attempt to roll-back the historic small business health insurance tax credits created by the Affordable Care Act.
When the House voted to eliminate and defund the entire Affordable Care Act earlier this year, we could rationalize that this great benefit for small business was just collateral damage.
After all, everybody likes making health insurance more affordable for small businesses through tax credits.
Even my congressman, Joe Wilson, told me that he would support the small business health insurance tax credits in the Affordable Care Act replacement legislation.
But small businesses can no longer think of themselves as collateral damage in the efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act.
H.R. 3 is a direct attack on small business.
Even supporters of the bill have no response to our criticism that H.R. 3 is a “slap in the face to millions of small businesses now offering health insurance to employees and eligible for the new tax credits.”
Instead, as reported in the LifeSiteNews.Com story, they just change the subject and talk about H.R. 3 being tax neutral.
Not to small business it’s not. For many it will be a tax increase, and for all small businesses wanting to receive the tax credits, H.R. 3 will increase their costs.
Should H.R. 3 become law, small business owners who want the health insurance tax credits will face a difficult situation:
1. Small businesses will have to take considerable time to learn medical terminology to try to determine if their health plans cover any service that could be considered an abortion service. I challenge members of Congress to try to do this.
2. If small business owners don’t choose to spend the tens of hours away from running their business, at great cost, they will turn to their insurance agent. Today, it is unlikely that these agents have the knowledge about every possible abortion service that might be in a policy. Once they ramp up, they will still have to sit down with the small business owner to review the policy.
3. And, if the conclusion is that a health plan does include some abortion service, the small business owner has another time consuming decision to make.
a. Take a tax increase because she wants to keep the health plan she has; or
b. Probably pay higher premiums under a new health plan because of new underwriting and new provisions that now might be required in policies.
Supporters of H.R. 3 are aware of the costs to small business. They know that H.R. 3 targets small businesses for punitive action while ignoring big businesses that also receive tax benefits from their health plans that might also include some abortion service.
So, let me make this very clear – A vote for H.R. 3 is a direct attack on small business.
Every Representative who loudly proclaims their love for small business because “we are the backbone of the economy,” now can put their vote where their mouth is – their true support for small business will be judged on their H.R. 3 vote.