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Letter: Affordable Care Act unfair to small businesses

Posted: March 28, 2014 - 12:00am

It is fundamentally unfair for businesses to be forced to shoulder yet another tax burden. The health insurance tax provision within the Affordable Care Act is a tax that we at Miles D. Enright Co. Inc., firmly oppose.

Current pressures, including government regulations and fees, already make it difficult to remain in business and contribute to our communities. This tax was implemented at the beginning of the year, and the resulting rise in healthcare costs likely will force many small businesses to close their doors.

Although this tax has been levied on health insurance companies, our small business and others like it are expected to be impacted by higher premiums. Right now, my husband is the only one receiving insurance benefits. Due to rising costs, however, we are contemplating dropping his plan and simply paying for healthcare out of pocket as needed. We simply cannot afford an increase in health insurance costs, especially considering that his current plan doesn’t cover many of our expenses. As a result, we end up paying out of pocket anyway.

Our construction company has been family-owned and operated since 1980 and plays a significant role in our local community. We hope that our elected officials in Washington, D.C. are able to think outside the Beltway and can understand the hardships that small businesses face in today’s economy. Please join us in urging them to vote in favor of the Jobs and Premium Protection Act. If enacted, this bill will repeal the health insurance tax, and hopefully it will save small businesses here in Alaska and throughout the United States.

Tracy Enright

Office Manager

Miles D. Enright Co., Inc.


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Bill Burk
Bill Burk 03/28/14 - 07:52 am
Health insurance

The Affordable Care Act is NOT the problem! Insurance rates are going up because insurance rare afraid they will lose money, and are raising there rates. Before the Affordable Care Act they were allowed to discriminate by denying people they didn't want to insure. Especially this with preexisting conditions. Now they are forced to insure them. Insurance companies are out to make big dollars, and care NOTHING about the people that use their services!

Kevin Nye
Kevin Nye 03/30/14 - 10:25 am
@Bill Burke:

First of all, I'm not sure what you mean by this:

"Insurance rates are going up because insurance rare afraid they will lose money, and are raising there rates."

Did you mean "insurance companies are afraid" they will lose money?

Typo that may be, but the fact is, these people, the Enrights, have a Family Owned Business which has been DIRECTLY IMPACTED by the "Affordable" Care Act. They simply DO NOT HAVE what they DID HAVE before Obamacare came into being. PERIOD. They have been forced by Obamacare to pay so much more (much more than "One Dime") that they had to bail out. PERIOD.

Since the ACA came into being, costs have gone UP for them. PERIOD. Spin it all you want, but these are the bare facts for them and also for MILLIONS of other Americans in the exact same situation. PERIOD.

By the way, Bill, what type of business do you own and operate? Just curious....

Stuart Cohen
Stuart Cohen 04/04/14 - 02:13 pm
I own a small business: This woman is making stuff up

I do have a business, and I have since 1984. I do all my own payroll taxes, bookkeeping etc. Here's my perspective on this letter: It's garbage.

First, if they have less than 50 employees, this business doesn't need to provide health insurance. From the writer's assertion that only the owner gets insurance, I'm assuming this is the case. They don't have to pay extra taxes, as she claims. The Affordable Care act doesn't raise her insurance costs: It lowers them.

Second, health insurance rates have been going up for me 10-15%/year for years. This writer references some vague "tax" on insurance companies, then claims that that's what's making their insurance bills go up. It's hogwash. They're going up for lots of reasons. Some unspecified tax on insurance companies (which I don't think actually exists) isn't the reason.

Third, my experience with the ACA, (and, being in Juneau, I'm in a similar market to Ketchikan) was that the price of insurance went DOWN for a BETTER insurance policy. Sad tales about insurance being too expensive to buy may be true, but it has nothing to do with the ACA. Furthermore, if they are so hard up, they can actually get a subsidy for their insurance, and their costs will go down even more. All this talk about people losing their insurance policies is hogwash. Insurance companies terminate plans and raise prices all the time, and the ACA actually makes better coverage available for a similar or lower price.

Lastly, having been in business since 1984, I can tell you first-hand that there have been very few new taxes on small business in the last 29 years. Maybe payroll taxes have increased one or two percent, and that has nothing to do with the ACA: it is more about stabilizing Social Security. On the other hand, income taxes have been going down for higher bracket earners, resulting in a net tax break (and a massive Federal deficit). Thanks to George Bush (the first one), they did away with income averaging, which was very beneficial to small business owners. So people's assertions that taxes are killing small business is simply not true.

The bottom line is that if they have less than 50 employees, the ACA doesn't affect this person's business AT ALL, except to lower her insurance rates for herself and her husband. I don't know where Tracy Enright got her talking points, but they're completely bogus. Did she actually try to sign up for the ACA? Or was she so duped by misinformation providers that she swallowed this hook, line and sinker? That would be a shame, because she would have held on to more of her hard-earned money, instead of giving it to an insurance company for minimal coverage.

I advise readers of her letter not to make the same mistake.

Stuart Cohen

Kelly Flynn
Kelly Flynn 04/02/14 - 07:51 am

Right or wrong at least she used her real name.

Abby Lowell
Abby Lowell 04/02/14 - 08:45 am
Regarding eraseme

This commenter was violating our new non-anonymous commenting guidelines and has been banned. We've unpublished the comment above, but please feel free to let us know if any of you notice other irregularities around the site.

Thank you all for your readership.


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