House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today announced that a new proposed rule, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Health Care Individual Mandate, has been added to the Committee's new online resource, "Small Biz Reg Watch."
Small Biz Reg Watch is a new initiative of the Committee, launched this month, to help small businesses participate in the development of federal regulations. This online resource on the Committee's website will regularly highlight proposed regulations that could impact small companies and instruct business owners on how they can make comments to the federal agency considering the proposed regulation.
"One of our Committee's objectives is to help small business participate in the federal government rule-making process so they can affect the outcome," said Chairman Graves. "Poll after poll and survey after survey reflect the serious concern small businesses have about compliance with the health care law. The IRS' health care individual mandate will have a major impact on small businesses, especially those who are self-employed and may not have employees, so it is important that they express their concerns before this rule is finalized."
According to the latest Chamber of Commerce Small Business Outlook Survey, released earlier this month, 75 percent of small businesses expect the health care law to increase costs for their business. In terms of hiring, 71 percent think that implementation of the health care law will make it harder to hire more employees.
For the first time in American history, the federal government, through the health care law, ordered the general population to purchase a commercial product. The health care law established an individual mandate to buy health insurance and a penalty for not doing so, beginning in 2014. The IRS will enforce the individual mandate by assessing the penalty. The mandate affects small businesses, including the self-employed and companies that don't have employees, because the law requires small firms to offer affordable health insurance plans that include certain essential health benefits. The comment period for the Individual Mandate proposed rule ends on May 3rd.
Through the Small Biz Reg Watch initiative, the Committee will regularly communicate with small businesses via email, social media, and through district events around America when new comment periods begin for select proposed rules that have a significant impact on a wide array of small businesses.
The website URL: www.smallbusiness.house.gov/RegWatch