WASHINGTON, DC – Following-up on last month’s D.C. City Council’s passage of a 1% health care tax, small business groups led by the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), the nation’s leading advocate and resource for self-employed and micro-businesses, today submitted an official letter to the D.C. City Council opposing the new tax. Passed unanimously in a vote on May 6th, 2014, PR20-0744 – Health Benefit Exchange Authority Financial Sustainability Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2014 – would leverage a 1% tax on all health-insurance carriers with gross receipts of $50,000 or more within the District of Columbia. The small business groups signing the letter with NASE include the American Independent Business Coalition and the Southern Consumers Alliance.
In the letter, the small business groups call the new tax short-sighted and will result in hurting those individuals who stand to benefit most from the consumer protections already provided for in the Affordable Care Act(ACA).
It is not unreasonable to assume this 1% tax on health-insurance carriers will be immediately tacked on to the premium costs paid by the policyholder. Given the estimated fluid nature of the health insurance premium marketplace and continued concerns and efforts by the self-employed and micro-business community to contain costs, this additional tax is unwelcome and counter-productive to achieving the Authority’s goals.
It also should be brought to the attention of the D.C. City Council that the decision to tax “all health insurance carriers” and not just those operating within the D.C. exchange could be in violation of the law and could result in a costly lawsuit that the City will have to defend.
The D.C. exchange board had been warned that the population of Washington, DC was uninsured and the most needy would create a pool that would drive up costs and in turn, hurt those it is trying to serve due to increased premiums and now they are adding 1% tax to those who need comprehensive coverage.
Since the passage of the ACA, the NASE has proactively engaged in its implementation in order to ensure its members – and the millions of self-employed and micro-businesses nationwide -- have access to comprehensive and affordable health care coverage.