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Rep. Sinema: Health insurance tax would hurt Arizona small businesses

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema addresses small business owners at bluemedia in Tempe Wednesday afternoon (Photo: Mike Sackley)

Arizona’s small business owners and employers could be negatively affected by a national health insurance tax.

That’s the view of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ 09), who is the co-sponsor of a bill in Congress that would permanently repeal the tax. She said if the health insurance tax goes into effect, small business employees with families could pay up to $450 more per year for their health insurance premiums.

“You add that up to 50 or 100 employees, small business can’t handle it,” Sinema said. “It basically breaks their back.”

Sinema held a roundtable with small business owners Wednesday at bluemedia, a small business in Tempe. She said that Congress passed legislation last December delaying the health insurance tax from going into effect in 2016. But if Congress doesn’t act this year, the health insurance tax would go into effect in January 2017. She said the tax has a negative effect on the Affordable Care Act as well as small business owners, employees and families.

“If you’re a small business owner and you choose to provide healthcare to your employees as a way to attract and retain highly qualified people, you’re not able to do it effectively with this tax in place,” Sinema said.

Sinema is one of a handful of Democrats co-sponsoring the bill. It has wide support among house Republicans.