Small Business Owner to Senators: Obamacare Has Hurt My Employees

Date: May 18, 2016 Last Edit: May 19, 2016

NFIB member and director will testify about struggles with healthcare law

For Immediate Release
Andrew Wimer, 202-314-2073 or 703-298-5938 (cell)
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Washington, D.C. (May 18, 2016) – This afternoon, a small business owner and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) member will testify in front of the Senate Small Business Committee about his struggles to provide health insurance for his employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). NFIB Director of Legislative Affairs Kevin Kulhman will also testify about how the law has fallen far short of promised efforts to help small businesses purchase coverage.

Tom Kunkel, President and CEO of Full House Marketing & Print, will tell Senators about how recent guidance from the IRS forced him to end contributions that helped his employees pay for insurance. Without good options to purchase affordable coverage, Kunkel’s employees have seen their take-home pay decrease and their health insurance costs increase within the last year.

“I am in a situation where my employees cannot afford insurance, and I am prohibited from helping,” says Kunkel. “I look like the bad guy. I tried to help them out, and now they feel like I am taking something away from them. I expended time and resources exploring options, but none of them worked for our business and our employees.”

As of July 2015, employers can be fined by the IRS for reimbursing employees for insurance they purchase on their own. The fines are not explicitly written into the ACA but come from an IRS interpretation of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulation on group health plan requirements. Businesses who continue to reimburse could face fines of $100 per employee per day.

“Since the passage of the ACA, small businesses have seen their costs rise, their compliance burdens increase, and their flexibility decrease,” says Kuhlman. “The law itself has no single definition of the size of a small business. For small business owners, the law has made purchasing insurance even more confusing and expensive.”

Learn more about NFIB’s work on healthcare >>

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