Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

August 7, 2013

Small businesses will suffer from HIT

— — I operate Shields Engineering in Bluefield, a business my father started back in 1963. In the 50 years that the company has been around, we have seen a lot of ups and downs. I understand the importance of small business and am concerned about the new Health Insurance Tax, or HIT, that is slated to go into effect next year. It will hurt small enterprises throughout the county unless Congress repeals it.

The HIT will actually be paid by major heath issuers and is expected ultimately to raise hundreds of billions of dollars for federal health care reform. The problem is that the health insurance companies are likely going to simply pass the tax on down to their main customers, the small business sector. The impact is estimated to be about $500 per employee actually, and that is a lot of money for a small business like mine to absorb.

Fortunately, legislation has  been reintroduced to stop the HIT. If passed, the Jobs and Premium Protect Act (S 603/HR 763) will eliminate the tax before it is able to do any harm. I am hoping that our representatives and senators will vote in support of this legislation and spare us from this new tax before it is too late.

Arthur M. Shields


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