No "New" Health Insurance Break for Small Employers

December 18, 2013

The Obama Administration and leading Washington state Democrats are now promoting a "new" plan that allows employers to purchase employee health insurance with federal tax credits. This is being advertized as a one-year stop-gap measure to give employers financial releif until the the SHOP program is up and running state-wide in 2015.

SHOP is the Small Business Health Options Program in Obamacare, where employers with 50 or fewer employees can purchase health insurance with taxpayer subsidies starting in 2014. The Obama Administration has already deferred the Shop program until 2015 because of lack of infrastructure. Only two counties in Washington state now offer the SHOP program, so the vast majority of employers in our state do not have access to this exchange.

The reality is the "new" plan is simply a one year extention of the Phase I tax credits that have been available to small employers since Obamacare became law in 2010. This tax credit program was set (by law) to expire the end of 2013 and the SHOP program would then take over on 1/1/14.

The Phase I tax credit program is yet another colossal failure of Obamacare. It is estimated that nationally 1.4 million to 4 million employers qualify for the tax credits, yet only 107,000 of those eligible have enrolled. The paperwork and compliance issues are extremely burdensome, so employers have decided it's not worth the trouble to enroll.

National and state Democratic leaders are simply promoting and extending an already failed part of Obamacare.