e-News 9/28/12


The Week Just Past: Uncertainty Sidelines Small Businesses

Noted With Interest:  Despite Promises, Health care costs rise

Today’s Final Thought: The Tragedy in Benghazi, Libya


The Week Just Past: Uncertainty Sidelines Small Businesses

“Even though I hear these sentiments every week as I make my way around our Congressional District, the poll numbers released this week still took me aback. 

“According to a survey commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 67 percent of small business owners and manufacturers say there is ‘way too much uncertainty in the market today to expand, grow or hire new workers.’ 

“That’s an absolutely staggering number!  We count on these businesses to provide the vast majority of new jobs in a healthy economy – anywhere from 60 to 80 percent.  But with two-thirds of small business owners and manufacturers on the sidelines, it’s no wonder that millions of American jobs have disappeared. 

“Clearly, the solution has to be found in a new tax policy that encourages economic growth and makes us competitive in the global economy.  We also have to encourage new trade policies that open overseas markets to New Jersey products and services.

“But there’s more to be done. 

“69 percent of those surveyed believe the Obama Administration’s regulatory policies have hurt American small businesses and manufacturers. 

“Instead of smoothing the way, our government continues to erect more barriers to growth through burdensome regulations that increase costs for small businesses and all Americans. 

“I think most small businessmen and women would agree that sensible regulations make for a strong economy.  But what I hear from businesses I visit is “get the government off our backs.”  And “Stop with the overbearing, ridiculous rules and regulations.”

“For example, to date, the new health care law has resulted in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury issuing thousands of pages of new rules and regulations, including 40 notices, 17 regulations, 5 revenue procedures, 2 revenue rulings, and 14 Treasury decisions.  Is it any wonder that another recent survey found that over 70 percent of small businesses cite the health care law as a major obstacle to job creation?

“It’s a sad commentary that 55 percent of small business owners and manufacturers say they would not have started their businesses in today’s economy.”

Rodney Frelinghuysen

Noted With Interest:  Despite Promises, Health Care Costs Rise

In 2009, President Obama promised the American people that his health care plan, “will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.”

Well, the the verdict is in, and it is clear that President Obama has failed to deliver.  Instead, the new health care law has increased health care costs and has made it harder to maintain health insurance in the workplace.

The nonpartisan Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) report, Health Care Cost and Utilization Report (2011), shows that health care prices increased at a faster rate in 2011 than 2010 - and that fewer people have employer-sponsored insurance (ESI).  The report found that:

  • “Between 2010 and 2011, estimated per capita expenditure for claims filed under ESI rose 4.6 percent, from $4,349 to $4,547.  In comparison, spending growth was 3.8 percent for 2009-2010.”
  • Both employers and employees are paying more in health care costs.  As the report notes, “Estimated per capita spending out-of-pocket was $735 in 2011, a 4.6 percent increase over 2010.  Health plans and employers saw per capita spending rise by 4.5 percent to $3,812.”
  • “HCCI estimated that 156.5 million people had ESI in 2010, compared with 156.0 million people in 2011, a 0.3 percent decline.”
  • For 2011, “HCCI found increases in prices were the primary cause of increased health care spending for the privately insured younger than 65 and covered by ESI.”

Read the HCCI report here

Recommended Reading: Robb Mandelbaum, writing in the Tuesday  New York Times, “Why the Health Care Tax Credit Eludes So Many Small Businesses”

Today’s Final Thought: The Tragedy in Benghazi, Libya

The killing of our Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, a dedicated foreign service officer, and three other Americans was an outrage.  “Open sources” in the public record have now confirmed repeatedly that this was a well-planned attack by terrorists.  The back-and-forth explanations of Administration officials seem to point to domestic political considerations overriding the truth.