Brann Affordable Care Act not the way to go

April 2, 2012
| By Pete Daly |
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Twenty-six state governments and the National Federation of Independent Business filed the suits that put the constitutionality of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court.

NFIB recently convened Stop The HIT meetings of small businesses around the state to discuss the potential impact of the PPACA on small businesses, with one Grand Rapids-area meeting held at Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille on South Division, owned by Tommy Brann who is a member of NFIB.

Last year NFIB and other organizations formed the Stop The HIT Coalition, which says it represents “the hundreds of millions of Americans who will be suffering from the looming Health Insurance Tax on small businesses.” Today, more than 30 organizations are members, ranging from the Alliance for Affordable Services to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and including “independent employee advocacy groups, industry trade associations and business policy groups,” according to the coalition.

The PPACA is intended to extend insurance coverage to more than 30 million people.

“There are a lot of people who don’t know the answers as far as what’s going to come down if this does go through,” said Brann, noting that the affordability of the act’s cost on small business is the issue.

“We care about our employees,” said Brann. He said that when a waitress calls in sick but says she can’t go to the doctor because of a lack of insurance, “I believe them. I think that is sad and that is not right. There’s got to be a solution, but this isn’t the way to go.”

“I understand that we, as a country, have to do something, but this isn’t the way to go,” he repeated.

“I don’t even know if we’ll be in business a couple of years from now if this goes through,” said Brann. “Some of the costs we estimated are pretty high.”

According to Stop The HIT, it will take effect in 2014 and “directly impact each of Michigan’s 187,373 small businesses, severely reducing their ability to expand, create new jobs and contribute to the state’s economy.”

The organization said in a statement that the “tax will directly fall upon small business owners and their employees and the self-employed, totaling $87 billion within the first 10 years, and $208 billion in the next decade.”

According to the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation, the extension of insurance to the uninsured will:

**Reduce private sector employment nationally by 250,000 jobs by 2021.

**Result in $30 billion in lost sales through 2021, with 59 percent of those losses falling on small business.

**Nationally impact the bottom lines of 2 million small businesses, 12 million employees and self-employed individuals, and 26 million employees who are covered by their employer.

**Reduce the take-home pay by $500 a year or $5,000 in just the first decade for an employee with a family plan.

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