What NFIB Fights For
Make Healthcare More Accessible and Affordable
Small business owners continue to struggle with annual, double-digit insurance premium increases that make providing and maintaining coverage more and more difficult. In several states, small business owners have only one or two insurance companies from which to choose—a monopolistic atmosphere producing out-of-sight prices. Insurance premiums for small groups or single coverage have increased by more than 82 percent since 2000, a jaw-dropping statistic. This is completely unsustainable over the long term.
NFIB knows that no one solution will help the 44.8 million uninsured Americans cover healthcare costs, but a multi-faceted approach including political advocacy will allow millions more to find healthcare at costs they can afford. This approach should include health-insurance purchasing pools for small businesses, tax-based incentives to assist with the purchase of health insurance and implementing cost-containment measures.
Simplify the Code and Reduce Taxes
- Eliminate the death tax. NFIB will again lead the fight to make the death tax repeal permanent. Although the tax-relief bill approved in 2001 will lead to a repeal of the death tax in 2010, it will rise from the dead back to 2001 levels in 2011 unless Congress approves legislation making the repeal permanent. NFIB supports and will continue to advocate for a full repeal of the death tax.
- Make income-tax relief and increased expensing limits permanent. During his State of the Union address and in the FY 2006 budget proposal, President Bush called on Congress to make permanent the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003. This would lock in lower rates for every taxpayer and help reduce taxes. It would be especially helpful to approximately 85 percent of small businesses that file tax returns as individuals. These increased savings will provide small business owners with capital to reinvest and grow their businesses while creating stronger incentives for small business job creation. NFIB will support actions that make these improvements permanent.
- Simplify the tax code for small business. With more than 200 different IRS requirements, an estimated 80-85 percent of small business owners are forced to pay tax practitioners to prepare their tax returns. This is a costly practice that is especially burdensome for the smallest of small businesses. NFIB will continue to fight for a tax code that makes clarity, certainty and consistency the rule – not the exception.
Curb Frivolous Lawsuits
- Curb frivolous lawsuits. Frivolous lawsuits create a climate of fear for America’s small businesses. While some claims are legitimate, large percentages are completely without merit. NFIB members say that being sued is one of the most threatening experiences for a small business owner, especially for the smallest of the small, which can be put out of business by one lawsuit. NFIB will continue to support reforms of the legal system, including sanctions against attorneys who bring frivolous lawsuits.
- Cap damages in medical liability suits. Our country is facing a medical liability crisis. Due to skyrocketing medical liability insurance rates, many small business owners are finding it increasingly difficult to afford health insurance for themselves and their workers, and to locate specialty medical care from OB/GYNs, surgeons and emergency room doctors. NFIB supports legislation that would cap non-economic damages in medical liability suits at fair and reasonable rates and abolish joint liability so that liability is commensurate with responsibility. NFIB also supports capping attorney fees to ensure that patients harmed from negligent care are allowed to keep a higher percentage of the award.
Ease the Burden of Excessive Regulation and Intrusive Laws
- Make regulations less costly and complicated for small business. Regulations can be both expensive and intrusive for small business. Washington’s complex regulatory maze results in a per-employee regulatory cost to a small firm that is nearly 60 percent more than the cost to large firms. NFIB supports actions to review and analyze the impact of regulations to determine their impact on small business.
- Reduce the burden caused by federal paperwork. Businesses currently waste precious hours completing page after page of federal forms, some of which are duplicative and burdensome. The cost associated with paperwork is especially expensive for small business. IRS paperwork alone costs small businesses about $75 per hour. NFIB supports tougher oversight on federal agencies in how they are meeting previously mandated paperwork reduction goals.