A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report dated May 2012 revealed that a paltry percentage of small businesses took advantage of the Small Employer Health Insurance Tax Credit in 2010. Of the 1.4 to 4 million small businesses and government agencies estimated to be eligible, only 170,300 claimed it. Part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as ObamaCare, the measure that, according to cnsnews.com, “gets strong support in public opinion polls has turned out to be a disappointment.” Of the 170,300 claiming the credit most claimed only a partial percentage, with only 28,100 claiming the full credit.
According to the GAO report, “One factor limiting the credit’s use is that most very small employers, 83 percent by one estimate, do not offer health insurance.” Analysts meeting with the GAO reported that “the credit was not large enough to incentivize employers to begin offering insurance.” Other deterrents were the complexity of the rule and the heavy time commitment required to figure it out. Cnsnews added, “The credit, which once had support in principle from lawmakers of both parties, was supposed to help businesses already providing coverage afford the premiums."
John Arensmeyer, founder of Small Business Majority, said, "We agree it is not a panacea for all costs.” The advocacy group supports the healthcare law. “The problem is all the negative publicity around the health care law has discouraged business owners from applying for the credit.” He claimed, "There has been more heat than light shone on this,” adding, "There is no reason why small businesses shouldn't be taking advantage of this credit."
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