Healthy Wisconsin sounds good on the surface. Who's going to argue against affordable health care? Unfortunately, that would be me ... because it's not really all that affordable to the self-employed or Wisconsin small business owners.
Take note of how Healthy Wisconsin will be financed.
All employers must pay 9-12 % of wages of their employees (up to the limit of taxable Social Security wages, which is currently $102,000). Employees must pay 2-4% of their Social Security wages.
An actuarial analysis estimates that the actual figure in 2007 would have been 10.5% for employers and 4% for employees (4% maximum of $102,000 per family). For small firms of ten employees or less, the employer share will be phased in over three years.
(THESE PAYMENTS REPLACE THE PREMIUMS AND OTHER PAYMENTS FOR PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE NOW BEING PAID BY EMPLOYERS AND WISCONSIN RESIDENTS.)
The average family income in Wisconsin is about $42,000. So for the average family, the cost would be $140 per month in payroll deductions. On average, the employer would pay about $370 per month.
Self-employed persons and those with income but no wages pay 10% of income up to the Social Security wage limit.
I don't know about you, but for this Wisconsin small business owner, that's a little steep! I don't have employees, don't have health insurance, and certainly don't approve of a government mandated 10% of my income going toward health reform.
I can't comment on the relative cost of this initiative for businesses who already offer health insurance. But for those of us who don't have it - it's not because we don't want it - it's because the entry cost is too high. Somebody show me the math ... who thinks that a new tax of 10% of net income is an affordable cost to the self-employed? And by the way, there are NO exemptions.
Join the Fight Against Mandated Health Care & New Payroll Taxes
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) is working on our behalf to defeat this initiative. Your help is needed. If you agree that Healthy Wisconsin is not in the best interest of Wisconsin small business, add your name to the NFIB Wisconsin statewide petition. I'll have scanned in and available as a download later today - but please, don't wait. If you don't see a download link right now, while you're thinking about it - contact me. I'll fax or email you a petition by the end of the day.
Time is of the essence. We have approximately 49 days to make our voices heard.