Health Insurance Tax Credit Could Help 26-Thousand Mississippi BusinessesBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 09 May 2012 04:34pm |
A new study finds a tax credit could help pay for the health insurance of 177-thousand Mississippi workers. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the thousands of Mississippi small businessesare eligible for the credit.
A new study by the pro-health care reform group Families U-S-A found that 26-thousand small businesses in Mississippi are eligible for health care tax credits which are currently available as part of the 20-10 health care reform law
Executive director Ron Pollack says the sky rocketing cost of health care keeps many small businesses from providing coverage.
"In the year 2000, 65% of the American public received health coverage through the workplace. ten years later in 2010, 55% of Americans get their insurance that way," Pollack said.
The credit is targeted specifically at companies with fewer than 25 workers with average wages under 50-grand a year.
Larry Whiteis CEO of AA Calibration Services in Yazoo City.
"It bothers me so much until I go home sometimes and I tell the wife, 'I can't have this many people working for me and not offer health care insurance somewhere'," White said.
White employees 14 people at his company and says the cost of health insurance has put it beyond reach.
"I have had several companies come in offering health care but none that myself and my employees could afford," White said.
While providing health care is a top priority this year, he thinks any credits he gets would have to be substantial to bridge the gap.
"I don't see how anything less than offering a huge tax break is going to do anything to get the cost down to where we can afford it," White said.
Credits for companies like white's currently top out at 35-percent of health insurance cost, rising to 50-percent by 2014.
But it appears few companies are taking part....more than 3-million companies are eligible for the credits and only 360-thousand are expected to apply this year.
And while these credits are not directly part of the legal challenge before the supreme court, they could be eliminated if the court chooses to declare the whole law unconstitutional.
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