Obamacare includes a small business tax credit to help employers provide health insurance coverage. The issue, however, is that only 170,300 businesses out of a possible 4 million have applied for the credit because of the time-consuming application procedure. Now, the Obama administration is asking Congress to improve the process so that more small businesses apply for the credit.
Republicans are opposing the request, even though it would lower taxes for small businesses. They’re seeking to repeal Obamacare, not change it. “I don’t think expanding it is going to make any difference whatsoever,” said Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), who chairs the House Small Business Committee.
But their runs against what GOP leaders proposed in 2009, during the debate over health care reform. Then-Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) had deputized Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to lead the Health Care Solutions Group and shape the GOP alternative to the Democrats’ health care proposals. “Unlike the Democrats’ government takeover of health care, this common-sense plan keeps patients and doctors in charge of key medical decisions,” Boehner said of the plan. In it, Blunt’s group called for a small business tax credit to help employers offset the cost of providing health insurance:
To expand availability and accessibility of health care coverage, the Republican plan: [...]
• Helps employers offer health care coverage to their workers by reducing their administrative costs through a new small business tax credit.
The Affordable Care Act’s tax credit was designed to help small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, which have the most difficult time offering insurance to their employees. These businesses make up almost 90 percent of all employers in the U.S., so improving the application process for tax credits would expand health insurance to thousands of workers.