Tom Susman, Terry Sterling and Erikka Storch want the federal government to realize that small businesses may need to cut jobs because of the Health Insurance Tax.
The tax is expected to cost small businesses $87 billion over 10 years as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
"In this time of trying to create jobs, this is not the time to be raising taxes," Susman said at a roundtable discussion at the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce Office on Thursday.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Tom Susman, representative of the Stop the Hit organization, speaks Thursday about how the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may affect small businesses.
He represents an organization called "Stop the Hit," which is trying to prevent the tax from being implemented in 2014.
Susman said the new tax will cost West Virginia small businesses at least $1 billion in sales through 2021. Nationally, he said, the new tax would impact the bottom lines of 2 million such businesses.
"If you put these taxes onto businesses, businesses pass those taxes onto consumers," he said. 'We need to try to stop this."
Storch - who is both a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from Ohio County and the chief financial officer for Ohio Valley Steel - said small businesses like hers are finding it difficult to continue providing insurance to all their employees. She also said such a tax is just another challenge for small businesses in the challenging economic environment, noting her company still has employees laid off because of the 2009 downturn.
"Conditions just have not let us bring them back the way we would want," she said of the workers, noting her company now has about 20 employees. "This is yet another obstacle the federal government is setting up for companies like ours."
Sterling, chamber president, also said his organization supports efforts to see the the tax does not take effect, noting the chamber itself has seen the results of the economic downturn.
"We've had members over the past couple of years who have had to drop out for a year to cut back on their costs," Sterling noted of the chamber's membership.
Susman said his main objective Thursday was to inform business and political leaders of the forthcoming tax - and to persuade them to ask federal leaders to support a bill that would overturn the tax.
He highlighted a bill he said would accomplish this, which is sponsored by Republican Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Susman asked those in attendance to reach out to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to ask him to support this legislation.
"It will be hard in this election year, but we need to get some support on this to at least get this provision of the health care law overturned," Susman added.