Report: Obamacare Tax Could Cost 286,000 Jobs, Billions in Sales

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 10:43 AM

By Melanie Batley

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One of the numerous new taxes created under Obamacare will cost the United States hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next decade, a new report concludes.

The report by the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation, a nonprofit association of business owners, found that the Health Insurance Tax in the Affordable Care Act will cause an increase in the cost of employer-sponsored insurance to such an extent that the private sector will be forced to cut employment between 152,000 and 286,000 jobs by 2023.

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Fifty-seven percent of the job losses, the report predicts, will come from small businesses, or firms with fewer than 500 employees, which are traditionally the engines of innovation and job creation.

The result will also amount to a reduction of U.S. real output, or sales, of between $20 billion and $33 billion over that period.

"The HIT represents a new tax on small business that raises insurance costs for an already struggling Main Street and is contrary to the goals of healthcare reform," Amanda Austin, NFIB director of federal public policy, said in a statement.

"Singling out job creators for tax increases makes no sense for our economy, is short-sighted, and wrong for our nation's growth. NFIB will continue to highlight the very real and negative effects the HIT will have on small businesses and everyday Americans as we work to pass bipartisan legislation to repeal the HIT."

The conclusions were based on a dynamic, multiregion forecasting model built to analyze the impact of policy "shocks" on the economy, and is unique in its ability to forecast the economic impact of policies, differentiating U.S. businesses by size, NFIB said.

Some states will be disproportionally affected by the projected job losses, the model predicts. California is expected to be hit the hardest with a projected loss of 23,000 jobs by 2023 and a loss of $4 billion in sales for small businesses, the report found.

Texas could lose 14,500 jobs over the same period due to the tax and $2.5 billion in small business sales, while Florida will likely suffer a loss of 9,700 jobs and $1.2 billion in small business sales.

The federal government expects to collect $8 billion from the tax in 2014, rising to $14.3 billion by 2018, according to The Daily Caller. While the tax was aimed at hitting insurers' profits, the more likely outcome is for the cost of the tax to be passed along to those purchasing the plans, most of which are employers.

Meanwhile, the American Action Forum, a Washington-based free-market think tank, estimates the Health Insurance Tax will increase consumer premiums by an average of $101 in 2014, and by an average of $143 in 2015 and 2016.

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