The impact of health reform on small business

By: Steven Deam, Sr – CNC Industries, Inc.

While reading our local Business Weekly newspaper, I ran across a syndicated article written by Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Michael Ramlet.   Douglas Holtz-Eakin is currently the president of the American Action Forum.   But it is his previous role as director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that is most meaningful to me.

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He begins the article with the statement “The new health care law is a threat to the health of small business.   Its heavy dosage of mandates and penalties will be a financial burden, and the law is riddled with hidden barriers to stronger job growth.”   That is quite a statement coming from a former director of the CBO.

Having been a small business owner in the precision machining sector for the last 40 years, I have personally seen all of the ups and downs of the manufacturing industry during that time.   Even prior to the current wave of anti-business legislation it is no secret that America has been shedding manufacturing jobs at an alarming rate for the last 20 years or so.

Given the fact that America became the greatest nation in the world primarily because of manufacturing, it is amazing how tone deaf the career politicians are to cries for help from the private sector.  The help we want isn’t any sort of bailout or assistance.   We simply want government to get out of our way and let us do what we do best – grow our businesses and create jobs!   Not only are the politicians not enacting policies that will help businesses of all types expand, they continue to pass legislation that will further cripple what’s left of our manufacturing base.   Even CEO’s of major companies – who mostly supported President Obama – are now speaking out against the anti-business climate which his administration has created.

To site a few more points from the article…  “Sadly, the new health care law is an assault on small business, beginning with the 3.8% Medicare tax on net investment income – a direct tax on many business owners.”     “…the mandate will compete for scarce capital that might be used for hiring and expansion.”     “The insult to these injuries is a draconian requirement that businesses submit Form 1099 paperwork to the Internal Revenue Service for every supplier from which they purchase more than $600 of goods each year.”     Now what in the world does that requirement have to do with health care?   Even the IRS admits that it will have little use for the information, yet it will add a costly burden onto every business.

I think most business people agree that health care needed reforming.   The cost of health care has been spiraling out of control for years.    We  just don’t believe that the so-called Obama-Care is the best way to reform it.    And, we certainly don’t believe that this new health care legislation is going to bring costs down.   Instead, we believe the burden of paying for it will fall squarely on our backs!   In fact, I would be willing to wager that any and all small business stimulus will be more than offset by higher health care costs and tax increases.    So, while the politicians will tout small business stimulus as wonderful programs – as usual the overall-all net effect will be negative for small business.

At CNC Industries, we plan to continue to grow despite the never-ending hurdles placed in front of us.   We have increased employment by more than 10% in just the last few months – with no thanks to any “stimulus” programs.   Unfortunately, though, our politicians are making business growth much more challenging than it needs to be.

Many people use the current one party control of government as well as the career politicians as good examples of why we need term limits.   We must remember that every two years we have the power to impose term limits with our votes!   This fall promises to be a very anti-incumbent election.

If you are unhappy with your representatives, on November 2nd get all of your friends to join you in telling them – Your Fired!     Then, let’s hope they correctly interpret our not-so-subtle message that they work for us!

September 2nd, 2010|