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FROM THE HILL

Rehberg maintains the health care

reform law will be a “job killer” and that government will have more control over the quality of health care, both added reasons why he joined every Republican in Congress in voting against the legislation. Rehberg believes that government should continue to allow the free market to work it out. The National Federation of Independent

Business (NFIB) cites the aforementioned increase in Medicare payroll taxes as well as the so-called “health insurance fee” as serious areas of concern for small business owners. The health insurance reform bill assesses a tax on all health insurance companies based on their “net premiums” written.

“This isn’t a health care bill, its a tax bill

wrapped up in health care paper,” said Susan Eckerly, NFIB senior vice president. “For small businesses, healthcare reform has always been about costs – reducing them,” she said. “But the only thing this bill does is drive costs even higher. It will raise, not lower, insurance costs and it will increase both taxes and the cost of doing business for the very people they said they wanted to help – small business.” The NFIB also strongly criticized the bill’s

“HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM IS RIGHT FOR MONTANA’S

TRUCKING INDUSTRY BECAUSE IT IS TOUGH ON INSURANCE COMPANIES AND

WILL DRIVE DOWN THE COST OF

HEALTH INSURANCE AND HEALTH CARE.”

—SENATOR JON TESTER

The amount of the industry’s collective

$6.7 billion annual tax that an insurance company would be responsible for is equal to the percent of the market that the insurance company covers. The NFIB claims these increased insurance company costs would be passed onto customers in the form of higher premiums and that America’s business community would shoulder a disproportionate share of those increased premiums and the Medicare payroll taxes.

small business tax credit claiming that it will have limited impact and restrict small business hiring efforts. According to the NFIB, very few small businesses will actually qualify for the full tax credit and only 12 percent of the total U.S. small business population would benefit in any way. NFIB contends that those companies

currently eligible for tax credits and assistance will actually have a disincentive to hire more employees beyond the incentive threshold which will have an adverse impact on job growth as the country struggles to emerge from the current recession.

WAIT AND SEE

The American Trucking Associations (ATA)

took no official position on the legislation so ATA spokesmen were largely unable to give a good accounting of the bill’s effect on the trucking industry or its members. However, these same ATA officials did express concern over some of the bill’s provisions that affect larger companies and wealthier Americans including the increased Medicare payments and taxes on the so-called Cadillac plans. ATA officials also noted language that

requires employers with more than 50 workers to pay fines if the company does not provide insurance or if the employee’s share of that insurance payment is deemed too high. “ATA is currently doing an analysis

because many of us still don’t know what exactly this means for our industry,” said Tommy Hodges Chairman of Titan Transfer, Inc. and the ATA chairman. “Caterpillar says this bill will drive up their health care costs by $100 million annually and we know many trucking companies are going to have to pay more through these additional taxes and fees. That makes some of us very nervous as we might see more trucking companies go out of business because of these additional costs. If that happens it’s not a good thing for the American economy in the long run.”

ROADWISE | APRIL 2010 | www.mttrucking.org

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