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June 29. 2012 12:10AM

Businesses say costs keep rising

WASHINGTON — The National Federation of Independent Business, which joined 26 states in challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, said Thursday the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a “bait-and-switch” in the law.

“Obviously, we’re incredibly disappointed in the outcome,” said NFIB Chief Executive Officer Dan Danner on a conference call. “We still believe that the individual mandate was a step too far into people’s individual lives and even though it was stricken down under the commerce clause, the fact that now we keep everything alive by calling it a tax, we’re still very disappointed.”

Danner said the Affordable Care Act “doesn’t work for small businesses. The costs keep going up and we believe that the remaining bill will make their costs worse, not better.”

Danner said the NFIB “will continue to push to repeal the health care bill and start over with what we think are better reforms that help small business and lower their costs.”

Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, said, that while the court said Congress does not have unlimited power under the commerce clause, “it did endorse a bait-and-switch, where Congress can pass a tax, enact a tax and not call it a tax and that’s OK under the taxing power of the United States.”

“For young people,” said Danner, “this is a big new tax on you. The law is going to become less popular, not more.”

“There are a lot of questions going forward about this new tax,” Danner said. “We’re very worried about taking away FSAs (Flex Spending Accounts) and HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) which were important and valuable alternatives to have.”


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