New York Small Business Owners: Could Obamacare Soon be Gone at Last?

Date: January 17, 2017

New York businesses look forward to a potential Obamacare repeal.

New York small business owners might finally get their wish.

Senate Republicans have already taken the first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, which has been a thorn in the side of business owners since its enactment in 2010.

But even as many folks on Main Street call for the legislation’s repeal, New York’s future without Obamacare remains uncertain because there hasn’t been an announcement of what health care system would likely replace it.

If the law were repealed, individuals would no longer be required to purchase health insurance, and entrepreneurs with 50 or more employees would no longer need to provide insurance to their workers, eliminating a large expense for many businesses. But small business owners shouldn’t breathe easy just yet.

In the aftermath of repeal, New York’s Legislature might raise taxes on businesses and individuals to allow people who received coverage through the law’s Medicaid expansion to keep it, said Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the Empire Center.

Business owners with slightly higher profit margins might also fall victim to what many refer to as the “millionaire’s tax”. The law – which is set to expire at the end of 2017 – imposes a 9 percent levy on households that earn more than $2 million and individual earners who make more than $1 million.

The tax could get extended to help fund health insurance throughout the state if legislators repeal Obamacare, Hammond said. There has also been debate about implementing a tax on sugary drinks, which would impact business owners who sell soda or other similar beverages, Hammond said.

Nothing is certain until repeal is complete and a contingency plan is established, but small business owners in New York should prepare for a variety of scenarios in the coming months.


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