Hearing Highlights Small Business Challenges in Complying with the Health Care Law

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Washington, Apr 17, 2013 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Small Business Committee, led by Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), today held a hearing on the strain that complying with the complicated health care law places on small business.

In the hearing, titled The Health Care Law: Implementation and Small Businesses, Committee Members took a closer look at the effects of the law on the businesses that have the fewest resources to handle the compliance burden. The committee heard testimony on the costs and paperwork requirements of the law, and how the new red tape affects the planning and outlook for small businesses.

“This is one of the most far-reaching laws in history, and small businesses have made it clear that they are grappling with compliance,” said Chairman Graves. “Many small business owners do not readily have the time, expertise or personnel to handle these new requirements, and the recent delay in the Small Business Health Option Plans has created even more uncertainty. This Committee is dedicated to helping small businesses overcome these difficulties.”

In December 2012, the Committee released a compliance resource for small business and listed key requirements for 2013 and 2014 to clarify and explain key parts of the law in plain English. Today’s hearing followed up on this effort by hearing directly from small businesses about their challenges in implementing the law.

Materials for the hearing are posted on the House Small Business Committee’s website HERE.

Notable Witness Quotes:

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Ph.D., The American Action Forum, Washington, D.C., said, “…ACA’s 80 million hours of paperwork is the equivalent of 39,822 employees working an entire year filling out the law’s new paperwork (assuming a 2,000-hour work year).  We can conceptualize paperwork burdens by examining gross domestic product per hour worked.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that figure was $61.59 in 2011.  Thus, ACA’s red tape alone costs the U.S. approximately $4.9 billion annually, a figure that will grow as the pace of implementation quickens this year.”

William J. Gouldin, Jr., President, Strange’s Florists, Greenhouses and Garden Centers, Richmond, Virginia, testifying on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business, said, “[T]he constant rise in health insurance costs is regressively suppressing wages… I realized that this law would be the most disruptive instrument to the American workplace in my lifetime and no one seemed to know, or care, right in the middle of the worst recession/depression since the Great Depression.”

Kevin Tindall, owner, Tindall & Ranson Plumbing & Heating, Princeton, New Jersey, testifying on behalf of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association, said, “The continued rise in the cost of providing health care insurance absolutely stifles my ability to create, provide and sustain jobs. Again Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I have yet to understand how we as a nation can continue to state that we need to create more jobs, yet challenge, threaten or even ignore the very mechanisms for job creation.”

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