Congressmen: Support jobs protection act

August 3, 2013

As the captain of a small fishing and charter boat company based out of Lewes, I rely on 11 seasonal employees to assist me. I am very concerned about the Health Insurance Tax, known as the HIT, that is scheduled to take effect next year. It will be levied on health insurance companies, but we know that they are not going to take a hit on their bottom line without passing it on to policyholders. After this tax is passed along, small business owners and the self-employed who have health insurance will pay an additional $500 per employee per year for health coverage. For me, that amounts to $5,500 in extra expenses to cover my staff. Many of us are already struggling to provide health insurance for our employees, and increased premiums will make insuring them impossible.

If the HIT is allowed to go into effect next year, small business owners like myself will have to figure out ways to handle the increased expense. Due to the nature of the charter tours and other services that I offer, it would be very difficult to cut my employees' hours during high season without risking losing business in the process. The alternative might be to decrease their wages or pass costs on to my customers. However, neither are very good options. The HIT is not the kind of policy that our nation needs at a time when businesses are still struggling to recover after the recent recession.

I have been in business for 22 years, and every year there are more and more government regulations and increased costs that impede my ability to make a profit. However, there is hope to stop the HIT in its tracks. The Jobs & Premium Protection Act will effectively repeal this unfair tax before it can wreak havoc on the small business sector. Hopefully, we can count on our Congressional delegation to support this bill, S.603 in the Senate and H.R. 763 in the House. Our economy needs the protection.

Capt. Ted Moulinier
owner, Angler's Fishing Center

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