As we celebrate the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act this week amidst Republican false attacks and continued efforts to repeal, it is important to highlight the new benefits, choices and protections available through the law.
Today we’ll focus on the benefits for small businesses – the backbone of the economy and the engine for job growth in Maryland.
Small businesses – especially those with less than 10 employees- struggled and suffered under the old healthcare system to provide their workers with quality affordable health insurance. MIT economist Jonathan Gruber estimated that without reform, small businesses would pay nearly $2.4 trillion to cover health care costs collectively over the next 10 years, and 178,000 jobs would be lost as a result.
President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress sought to immediately change the status quo and ensured that the Affordable Care Act would not only reduce the healthcare costs of small businesses but also expand access to insurance for their employees.
One provision of the law that has already gone into effect is tax credits that small businesses can use to pay for health insurance for their workers. The Small Business Majority found that more than 4 million small businesses are eligible to receive these credits including 122,100 here in Maryland. These much needed credits allow small business owners to keep (or even start) offering health care coverage and empower entrepreneurs to hire new workers.
Sadly, a national survey of small business owners found that 57% were not familiar with the available tax credits. That’s the reason why in Maryland, Democrats and health care reform proponents have launched an aggressive advertising campaign to encourage small businesses to take full advantage of the federal program.
Watch this video of Lt. Governor Anthony Brown – who is leading efforts to implement reform, tackle costs and improve quality – introduce the ‘Small Business Tax Credits – Your Healthy Bottom Line’ campaign: