Health Reform Update: Senate Debates Cost-Saver For Self-Employed

For Immediate Release: Contact:    Kristin Oberlander
(202) 466-2100
Twitter: koberlander

Senate Considers Limited Tax Relief On Health Care Expenses

Washington, D.C., December 15, 2009 – The health reform debate continues among Members of the Senate, as lawmakers work to pass reform legislation before the end of 2009. Unfortunately, three-quarters of the nation’s small business population –the self-employed – receive minimal cost savings in the current proposal. The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) also notes that, if the bill were to be signed into law, the earliest the self-employed business owners would see any possible relief would be in 2014.

However, Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu (La.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Evan Bayh (Ind.) and Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) have introduced Tax Equity for the Self-Employed amendment (S. Amdt # 3013), which would allow sole proprietors to deduct as a business expense 50% of their health premium costs. This amendment is under consideration by the Senate for inclusion in the health reform package.

Currently, a self-employed business owner (sole-proprietor) paying $7,000 annually for health insurance is also paying $1,071 in extra self-employment taxes because they are unable to deduct their health costs as a business expense on their Schedule C tax form. The NASE has worked for years to convince lawmakers to address this inequity, making the tax treatment of health costs fair for the self-employed and providing immediate bottom-line savings.

“We’re pleased to see the needs of the self-employed being considered and voiced by leaders in the Senate during the debate,” said Kristie Arslan, executive director of the NASE. “Though we firmly believe that the self-employed should have the same tax benefits as large businesses and be allowed to fully deduct their health costs as a business expense, this amendment is a step in the right direction.”

View a list of the small business amendments, including S. Amdt # 3013, that are under consideration for inclusion in the Senate Reform bill.

Watch Sens. Landrieu, Lincoln, Stabenow discuss the proposed health care amendments on You Tube.


About the NASE
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, bringing a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy. The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's Web site at

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