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An important bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate on January 10, 2019, addressing a key pain point for small businesses and the self-employed – high health insurance costs.  Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Senator Kristen Sinema (D-AZ) introduced legislation to eliminate the tax on health insurance premiums, a big cost burden that targets the health insurance plans covering small businesses, their employees and the self-employed. 

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan praised Senators Barrasso, Gardner and Sinema who introduced “The Jobs and Premium Protection Act” (S. 80). The bipartisan legislation will help small businesses more effectively compete in the marketplace, and for workers in the currently tight labor market. SBE Council endorsed the legislation, as providing relief from the health insurance tax (HIT) is an immediate SBE Council priority.

“The HIT directly strikes the self-employed, small businesses and their employees. Thankfully, Congress passed a one-year moratorium on the HIT for 2019.  But this relief will be short-lived with the return of the HIT in 2020. Repealing this unfair tax will create some stability for small businesses. The cost relief will help small firms better compete, offer insurance to more employees, or even for the first time, which is an important benefit for attracting and retaining employees in this very tight labor market,” said Kerrigan

As noted by Kerrigan, the results of a post-election survey conducted by members of the Small Business Roundtable found that health care ranks #1 when it comes the chief concerns of small business owners. In a question posed by the SBR survey: “If you could have Congress and the Administration deal with just one issue next year, what would it be?”… small business owners overwhelmingly selected “health care.”

“Small businesses are thankful that Senators Barrasso, Gardner and Sinema are listening to entrepreneurs and have quickly responded to their needs.  Every Senator needs to sign onto to this important bipartisan legislation, which is a common-sense strategy to relieve small businesses of pending price hikes on health coverage,” added Kerrigan.