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Washington Watch - June 6, 2012


Report Finds Health Tax Credit Underused 

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced last week that the Affordable Care Act's tax credit for small businesses was dolefully underused. In fact, only about 17 percent of the businesses that would otherwise be eligible for the maximum tax credit offered health insurance to employees. In addition, 83 percent of claims were for partial credits rather than the full 35 percent available. Republicans seized on the opportunity to paint the health care law, again, as out-of-touch with business and consumer needs.

The NASE has been at the forefront in the small business health care debate and have been vocal about this credit since its inception. While we appreciate that lawmakers set aside a credit for the small-business community through 2014, this credit does not help the self-employed. Simply, you will not be apply to receive the credit if you are defined as a one-person business, if your spouse, a child, other family members or relatives work in your business, if you have more than 25 full-time employees, or if your average annual wages per employee is more than $50,000. Read more about how to calculate your eligibility in this Self Made blog entry on the topic.

The NASE will continue to push legislators to implement laws that will help those businesses that make up the majority of the small-business community - micro-businesses and the self-employed. Small changes in the tax code, such as allowing business owners to deduct the cost of health insurance as a business expense, would be a start. Read more about the association's views on health care here and here.


Survey Finds Health Care Costs Have Decreased Or Remained Flat, NASE Disagrees

The cost of health care has largely stayed the same or gone down, according to a recent survey by Pricewaterhouse Cooper. Sadly, through NASE's research of micro-businesses and the self-employed this has not been the case. In our upcoming health care survey, satisfaction levels among the self-employed continue to be low when talking about insurance cost and affordability. Respondents indicated that the cost of their insurance premiums had risen in the past twelve months, which was less than the increase seen in our 2005 survey, but greater than the increase seen in our 2008 survey. In addition, a great majority of respondents – nearly 85% - indicated that rising health coverage costs have been detrimental to themselves, their families, their businesses and their “bottom line” over the past three years. 

Stayed tuned to Washington Watch and NASE.org for the release of our latest health care survey. You can also check our Research page for results of our 2009 and 2005 surveys on health care.

For tips on lowering the health care costs of your family or your business, please visit the NASE's Health Resource Center. To learn more about recently proposed legislation that the association supports, click here.


Hearing: SBA's Capital Access Programs

Today, the House Committee on Small Business will conduct a hearing to determine how effective the Obama Administration has been regarding small business programs. Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) will host SBA Administrator Karen Mills as the only witness and ask questions in regard to access to capital and the management of the funds set aside for loans to small-business owners.

Click here for details.


Washington Watch Online

Visit NASE Advocacy to view archived editions of Washington Watch. While you’re there, read the latest updates from the Washington, D.C. office, write your Congressperson, and find out how you can join the fight for micro-business.

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