Quite a lot has changed on Capitol Hill since then and the political landscape is very different now. But the big question still remains. Are small business owners any closer to getting relief from escalating health care costs?
Dawn has joined us again as our featured guest in this episode of Small Business Trends Radio. As Publisher of The MicroEnterprise Journal, Dawn is often sought by fellow journalists for her expertise on microbusinesses. Today – she’s going to be sharing some of that expertise with us.
Here is a sampling of topics discussed during this show:
- Less than 50% — of Microbusinesses (those with 10 employees or less) provide health care for their employees or themselves – and the number is shrinking every year. A figure that Dawn provided for us during her interview of August, 2006.
- The key issue — gathered from surveys on the subject indicate the major issue is cost — increasing too fast and remaining too high. Health care costs have increased, on average, by a whopping 72% since 1999.
- Self employment tax — is the equivalent of FICA tax, which is currently at 15.3%. Sole proprietors are the only business form currently that pay this tax on health insurance premiums (i.e., the premiums cannot be excluded from the requirement to pay FICA taxes). So when filling out a Schedule C as self employed, you are not able to deduct this amount. Regrettably, this situation looks like it will remains for the self employed.
- Bills for tax breaks — are being proposed, however, Congress cannot seem to agree. And when the Bill dies within Congress, so do the prospects of the proposed tax relief benefits.
- The Healthy Americans Act — is a proposed plan by Senators Widen and Bennett. They are attempting to develop a plan where all businesses are required to contribute to “the kitty” and a sliding scale is employed. The result of this would be additional taxes imposed on businesses to help pay for the plan. It would require mandated insurance coverage, is very complicated and may not make much economic sense for participants.
Dawn has much more to say and offers a lot of insight into the current state of small business health care. Click the player below to listen to Dawn’s full interview.