July 17, 2013
On behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, I am writing in strong support of H.R. 2668, the Fairness for American Families Act. A vote in favor of H.R. 2668 will be considered an NFIB Key Vote for the 113th Congress.
H.R. 2668 would delay the requirement that nearly all Americans purchase minimum essential health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty until 2015. The delay of the individual mandate is needed due to the administrative delay of the employer mandate. The delay would alleviate confusion for small business owners, self-employed individuals and small-business employees. Delaying problematic provisions provides temporary relief for individuals and small businesses, while also validating the underlying problems inherent in the law and its implementation. Perhaps most importantly, delay provides Congress additional time to correct problematic provisions in the law.
In NFIB v. Sebelius, NFIB opposed the individual mandate because we believe the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution does not give Congress the authority to require Americans to purchase a product. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court determined the mandate was proper as a “tax” under Congress’ taxing power. Whether a “mandate” or a “tax” penalty, this provision requires small-business owners to spend money -- buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. This is money they could have used to grow their business and hire more workers.
Without significant changes, this law will continue to cause problems for the small-business economy. Small-business owners support continued efforts to remedy the most harmful provisions in the law that are already impacting their businesses and their employees. Some fundamental reforms include:
• H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act, which would change the definition of full-time employee from 30 hours per week to 40 hours per week;
• H.R. 903, the American Job Protection Act, which would repeal the employer mandate that is already preventing business expansion and job creation;
• H.R. 763, the Jobs and Premium Protection Act, which would repeal the small business health insurance tax (HIT) that will increase premiums for the health insurance plans that self-employed individuals and small businesses purchase.
NFIB is dedicated to working with lawmakers to find solutions that work for small business and will consider a vote in favor of H.R. 2668 an NFIB Key Vote for the 113th Congress.
Senior Vice President