The National Federation of Independent Business has been the biggest opponent to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
And with good reason. Obamacare's mandates and taxes have been more burdensome on small businesses than any other group. The law and the administration repeatedly exempt unionized employers, government agencies and government programs from parts of the act. This hinders the ability of small companies to compete.
On New Year's Day, Obamacare added a tax on health insurance premiums that targets small businesses and individuals who buy their own insurance. The federal government will collect $8 billion from the tax in its first year, and $101 billion over the next decade.
But the law specifically exempts government plans and employers who are large enough to self-insure, which is a payoff to unions who negotiate such benefits.
"This political selectivity means the most gold-plated public, private and labor plans are exempt and the tax burden falls on the saps who work for small businesses, the self-employed and individuals — i.e., the people who can least afford it," the Wall Street Journal noted in an editorial.
This tax increases health insurance costs, which is the opposite of what Democrats promised when they pushed this ill-thought law through nearly four years ago. The National Federation of Independent Business estimates that increasing health insurance costs will shrinking hiring by 146,000 to 262,000 jobs over the next decade with 59 percent of those losses in the small business sector.
But the biggest problem is this tax discourages employers from bothering with health insurance, just as cigarette taxes discourage smoking. Their workers will wind up in taxpayer-subsidized programs, which the Wall Street Journal suspects was the plan all along.
Reps. Charles Boustany, R-La., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, introduced a bill to repeal the tax. All three congressmen from West Virginia should support the repeal effort.