Lynne Leach: Care and credits

December 31, 2012 

Care and credits

As a small-business owner, I read with interest the Dec. 25 story “Businesses cut employees, hours.” John Schnatter of Papa John’s Pizza is mentioned specifically, complaining about the costs to his company if he is required to pay for health insurance for his employees. He also said in November that he would have to pass on this cost increase to the tune of approximately $0.14 per pizza.

If he cuts hours or takes other steps to avoid providing health care, he is still passing the costs on to consumers because the premiums for those of us with insurance include the costs of providing (mostly emergency) care for uninsured people.

The article made no mention of the tax credit that is available to small businesses that provide health insurance for their employees. The credit is as much as 35 percent and will rise to 50 percent in 2014. The amount of the credit decreases as employee wages increase, so companies with employees who are not highly paid (such as a pizza store) benefit the most.

I hope that business owners large and small keep an open mind about the potential benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

Lynne Leach

Raleigh

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