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Washington Watch - March 14, 2013


Self-Employed Legislation Introduced to Permanently Deduct Self-Employed Health Insurance Costs

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is enthusiastic in its support of H.R. 886, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2013, introduced by Representative Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and cosponsored by Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), which provides for a permanent deduction for several key small-business tax deductions, including the health insurance deduction for the self-employed, a longstanding legislative priority of the NASE.

Since the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which included a one-year self-employment tax deduction for the health insurance costs of sole proprietors, we have aggressively advocated and courted champions in both chambers. Representatives Gerlach and Kind introduced identical language in the 112th Congress, along with many other pieces of legislation in the Senate and House that provided for an extension of the health insurance deduction.

“The ability for the self-employed to deduct their health insurance costs is paramount to the survivability of nearly 22 million Americans and their businesses. As it stands, the deduction averages around $1,800 per self-employed individual and has an economic impact in the billions,” stated Katie Vlietstra, NASE Director of Government Affairs.

In the coming days, the NASE will ask its members to contact their elected officials and ask for their support in helping America’s smallest businesses receive equitable treatment under the tax code.


Ways and Means Committee Releases Discussion Draft on Tax Proposal for Small Businesses

Noticeably absent from the discussion draft is any mention of America’s smallest businesses, the self-employed. The NASE wholeheartedly supports comprehensive individual and corporate tax reform; however, the self-employed continue to be ignored. The NASE will respond to the Ways and Means Committee, sharing specific examples of how the tax code can be made simpler and easier for America’s 22 million self-employed.

You can read the discussion draft documents here on the Ways and Means Committee website.


D.C. Moves to Require All Small Businesses (50 employees or fewer) to Purchase Through the Exchange

Recently, the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority unanimously agreed to a single government-run marketplace for companies with 50 employees or fewer. Businesses in Washington, D.C. that meet the employee threshold have until 2015 to comply. Additionally, all sole proprietors operating in the District would be required to purchase health insurance through the exchange market.

The exchange authority argues that D.C.’s demographic make-up is spurring the decision to force small employers to purchase health insurance through the exchange, and stated that the decision would ensure that health insurance premiums are kept reasonable.

You can read more about the decision here in the Washington Business Journal article.


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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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