"A Daily Dose of Truth" (#7):
Small business & health care reform (including our faith communities)
Truth is witness to the whole. One short sound-bite taken out of context -- even if it's a fact -- does not necessarily represent the whole truth. We denounce the use of such sound-bites (from any party!) when they are intended to pervert truth for political gain. In the end, we acknowledge that a manipulation of facts to frighten and confuse vulnerable populations is just plain immoral.
Many small businesses are among the early beneficiaries of health care reform. Already, some are receiving tax credits for providing health insurance for their workers. In fact, information reported in the Wall Street Journal indicates that "the percentage of employers with between three and nine workers and which are offering insurance has increased to 59% this year, up from 46% last year." Researchers seem to attribute this increase to the new health care law.
Here are the facts for small businesses, defined as having fewer than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers:
- A qualifying employer must pay average annual wages below $50,000.
- Small businesses and small non-profit organizations (including our communities of faith and congregations) may quality for tax credits in 2010 through a reduction in their payroll taxes -- if they pay at least 50% of the premium cost for employees. (For non-profits, this would apply to payroll tax liabilities, such as FICA.)
- In 2010, the tax credit is 25% of the employer's contribution to the premiums. In 2014, the percentage goes up to 50% (35% for non-profits).
- The tax credit phases out gradually for businesses with average wages between $25,000 and $50,000 and for those with the equivalent of between 10 and 25 full-time workers.
- Employers will be required to include the value of the health insurance on W-2 forms, but the value of that coverage remains tax-free (beginning in 2011).
- In 2014, the exchanges (health care marketplaces) will go into effect to make affordable insurance options available for small businesses and individuals. Policies sold in the exchanges will offer standard and transparent benefit packages.
We know that small business owners, many of whom are members of our faith communities, struggle with rising health care costs. By assisting with those costs, the provisions of health care reform affirm the important place of small businesses in American society. When the small business workforce is strengthened, all of us win because jobs are created in our communities, workers have more options for jobs that provide good benefits, and the dignity of our labor and personal ingenuity is restored.
For more information:
The Faithful Reform in Health Care document What Health Care Reform Means for Faith Communities and Their Leaders outlines faith community benefits and responsibilities.
The HealthCare.gov website includes a special section of information for small businesses.
The Small Business Majority website offers very explicit details about the tax credits, as well as an online calculator to help determine eligibility for the credits.
The Internal Revenue Service addresses the “Small Business Health Care Tax Credit” on their web page dedicated to this topic, including guidelines for determining eligibility. A Fact Sheet offers three simple steps to determine potential eligibility for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
A Daily Dose of Truth Online
#1: Medicare in Health Care Reform
#2: Health Care Reform and Home Sales
#3: The Requirement to Buy Insurance in Health Care Reform
#4: There's a Lot to Like in Health Care Reform
#5: Making end-of-life decisions
#6: The "R" Word (rationing) in health care reform
#7: Health care reform & small businesses (including faith communities)
Make suggestions for future topics based on the mis-information you are receiving in ads, emails, and conversations. Simply send an email with your suggestions.
About "A Daily Dose of Truth"
It's clear, the attack on health care reform will continue as we move toward the time when the new Congress begins its work in January 2011. Even if the attacks are not completely true or, even worse, false, they are working. The mis-statements, selected to elicit fear, are having a profound impact on our electoral process. Shame on us!
As people of faith -- trusted messengers -- it's our turn! With fewer financial resources, but with relationships that reach into the depth and breadth of our communities, it is our job to transcend partisan politics and economic self-interests, and to be the truth-tellers in support of a compassionate health care future with a system that includes and works well for all of us.
We begin with the declaration that "truth is witness to the whole." We know that one short sound-bite taken out of context -- even if it's a fact -- does not necessarily represent the whole truth. We denounce the use of such sound-bites (from any party!) when they are intended to pervert truth for electoral gain. In the end, we acknowledge that a manipulation of facts to frighten and confuse vulnerable populations is just plain immoral.
We can change what's happening, but it means each of us must be willing to share the TRUTH when we hear it. We can and must make a difference because health care is, first and foremost, a people issue that should not be relegated to the caverns of political ideologies. In sharing TRUTH, we are not supporting one candidate over another. We are simply making sure that people make their choices based on truth that witnesses to the whole -- not on distorted perceptions based on mis-represented facts.
"A Daily Dose of Truth" will arrive in your email almost daily to help you compare what you are hearing to the real TRUTH in the Affordable Care Act. Please help spread the message to the far reaches of our country -- via viral email, Facebook, telephone calls, chats with neighbors, and discussions in your communities of faith. Help us counter what is touted as true (with a little "t") with what is actually the TRUTH!
Sign up for the email list of Faithful Reform in Health Care
If you did not receive this email directly from Faithful Reform in Health Care, and would like to receive additional information about the TRUTH in health care reform, sign up for the email list now!