(Wheeling)….Another pitfall of Obamacare is about to become reality for a lot of small business owners and their employees, according to the President of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce.

Terry Sterling says there’s a tax on top of the premiums many people have already been quoted. The Health Insurance Tax, or HIT, could cost a family of four using the health exchange up to $500 more than what they were previously paying.

Sterling stresses this is a tax most people never heard about in the planning stages of the Affordable Care Act.

“This tax is levied on the insurance companies and it will be passed down to the individual companies, who will then, depending on the circumstances, of how employees participate, in the cost, of their insurance, they’ll have to absorb all or part of it,” explains Sterling.

He says large employers and most union negotiated health plans are exempt, from the tax. It’s small businesses who will feel the impact. It hits close to home here in West Virginia because a majority of the state’s businesses fall into that category. Sterling warns a lot of people are going to get hit hard, in the pocketbook.

When President Obama first rolled out the ACA plan, he said it would save a family, of four, about $2,500 a year, in insurance costs. Sterling claims that’s not the case. Not only is the cost of insurance more expensive through the insured marketplace, he says, deductibles are higher, you can’t always keep your doctor and, in some cases, your nearby hospital isn’t participating, in the plan.

The Wheeling Area Chamber represents more than 800 businesses, most of them small. Sterling says what he’s heard, from owners, in the past few weeks is a lot of concern about the future, of their insurance coverage.

“I think a lot of business owners are going to have to take a hard look at whether or not they want to offer insurance or not,” according to Sterling. “And what this will do, ultimately, is force a lot of people to take a look at the exchanges.”

Many are calling this hidden tax “unfair” and detrimental to small business employees who can least afford to pay more for insurance.

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  • Millie Bailes

    Just more evidence of corruption with big business and lobbyist

  • wvtd

    obamacare is the working mans nightmare!

  • ssteve520

    Same fox news rhetoric no actual proof in the article and calling it obamacare when the name of the legislation is affordable health care act.

    • Jephre

      A pile of BS by any other name is still a pile of BS.

    • The Hunter.

      This is what you get when you don't read the bill.

      • Jonus Grumby

        Big thumbs up.

  • j mrrlino

    Government for the people & by the people...gone!

  • TheFungoKnows

    "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in the bill."

    Thank you nancy Pelosi. ObamaCare, the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Mike

    Most small businesses in WV do not offer health insurance for their employees.

    • Jason412

      It's to scare the uninformed masses.

      The article literally reads like a high school argument
      "he says"
      "he claims"
      "he said"
      "Sterling claims"
      "What he's heard"

      Where is the source of this information?

      I can't find anything about this on Google. I find it hard to believe the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce would be the first to point this out, if it were based in fact.

      As Mike said, most small business's in WV already don't offer insurance. They wont be required to start offering it under Obamacare.

      Out of the 800, "mostly small", businesses the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce represents, I wonder how many currently offer insurance.

      Terribly written article.

      • Aaron

        The article is about as poorly written as the Affordable Care Act.

      • The Hunter.

        If you have to read to find out what is in it. The tax is in the bill.

  • Rodney Hytonen

    Because -DUH- it ws designed with a PUBLIC OPTION. (To lead to single payer as is coming in Vermont. Many I know in WV are moving there to get away from the fracking nightmare they're EXPERIENCING - btw, not just "fearing.") Obama was bribed and threatened into making Pelosi take it off the table.

    The whole point of this is, and always was:
    There is no place in Health Care (not just insurance) for private profit.

    It turns health care into a protection racket.
    Our prices compared to the rest of the world prove it.

    "Obamacare" didn't "raise prices" - for-profit insurance companies and providers did.
    As they were doing (which was and IS the problem) and as they always will do until they're abolished.

    National health care has been a fiscal inevitability since BCBS stopped being nonprofit.

    Medicare is already in place and wildly more affordable, even though it serves ONLY the very highest "risks" - seniors.
    Make it available for ALL and it will be cadillac health care, ALL health services (dental, vision etc) -no refusals or copays- for $100/month for EVERYBODY. (H.R. 676)
    You don't even have to make for-profit insurance illegal (as in Germany etc., etc., etc., etc.) What idiot would opt for a protection racket given the choice?

    • mntrbob

      Are you saying non-profits don't make a profit?

    • Bottom Feeder

      Spoken like a true Disciple of the chosen one. Keep drinking the kool aid...

    • Aaron

      I don’t know how Obama was bribed and he certainly did not threaten Pelosi into taking the single payer system off the table. The House version that passed did in fact include a single payer system but the Senate version did not.

      Both bills were written exclusively by Democrats in each chamber and both passed without a single Republican vote. After the separate bills passed, Democrats began the celebration of rubbing Republicans nose in their accomplishment and was lackadaisical in advancing the separate bills to a joint committee to form a joint bill.

      The problem for Democrats was that the bills were so far apart that when combined with Democrats halfhearted efforts in combining the bills, Ted Kennedy died before a joint bill was agreed upon and when Scott Brown won the special election to replace him, Democrats faced the problem of not having enough votes to force cloture.

      That combined with the complete reversal of support from the American Republic forced Democrats to place the Senate version before the House via reconciliation for a pass or fail vote that would either advance the Senate version into law or the healthcare bill would fail.

      Faced with either passing the Senate version of no healthcare at all, the House passed the Senate version and that is how the single payer system was removed from the law. You can blame bribery or intimidation if you like but you are wrong. Democrats have no one to blame but Democrats for losing the single payer system.

      • Jason412

        And the Republican's have no one to blame but Republican's for the law being written the way it was.

        They were so focused on killing the bill, they made no effort to steer it in a more conservative direction.

        They put all their eggs in the "it'll never pass" basket. Well two baskets, if you count the fact they were betting on Obama not winning a second term. They failed miserably on both accounts.

        It's easy to complain about how bad something is, without offering a better alternative.

        Now that it's 2014, here's the 3 Stages of Obamacare Acceptance a lot of you need to start working on.

        • Aaron

          Your comments are inaccurate Jason. When Democrats took control in January, 2009 and started writing the various bills, all alternatives and efforts by Republicans were tossed aside for naught. At one point, Obama stated to Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan "We won the election, we'll write the bills."

          Like it or not, this bill is 100% Democratic because that's how Democrats wanted it.

          • Aaron

            I responded Jason but for some reason the moderator deleted my comment. It was accurate, factual and most importantly, showed how my first point is correct.

            If you want proof, I would suggest that you start by watching videos of the health care summit from 2010.

          • Aaron

            Google Republican alternatives to healthcare. Watch the video of the healthcare summit in 2010 in which Obama told McCain the election was over and the American people had spoken.

            Search the transcripts of subcommittee meetings during the time the health care bills were written.

            Both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi told Republicans that "we won the election, we'll write the bills."

            Dick Durbin answered calls to bipartisan legislation on both the stimulus bill and the health care bill that "If it's passed by 63 votes or 73 votes, history won't remember it."

            You can choose revisionist history if you like Jason but it doesn't change the facts. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi shut Democrats out of the process of writing Obamacare and it passed with ZERO Republican votes. This monstrosity is 100% Democrats.

          • Jason412

            Aaron, your response is inaccurate as far as I can find.

            "the new president gathered congressional leaders of both parties to discuss his proposed economic stimulus. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor gave President Obama a list of modest proposals for the bill. Obama said he would consider the GOP ideas, but told the assembled Republicans that "elections have consequences" and "I won."

            While he did say those words to Eric Cantor, it had nothing to do with Obamacare.

            I'm open to any information you have on the subject, but I can find nothing at all that says at the beginning Republican's were told they couldn't participate.

            As with any subject I approach this from an independent view point, but every article I've read says the Republican's chose to put all their focus on killing the bill and didn't want to help write it, so they wouldn't have to defend any parts of it while trying to kill it.

        • The Hunter.

          Obama would not let them come to the table. He said they can watch but they can't talk.

          • Jason412

            Hunter, do you have any proof of that? Republican's made that decision not to participate from the very beginning and focused on destroying it.

            This is from David Frum's(Republican, former G.W. Bush Speechwriter) blog

            "A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

            At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994."

            "Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law."


            This post basically turned David Frum into a Republican pariah, because he is telling the truth and acknowledges that going for "all the marbles"(his words) was a huge mistake.

  • Todd

    elections have consequences.

  • GregG

    First off, I'm not a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. But I do take note of the comment “This tax is levied on the insurance companies and it will be passed down to the individual companies, who will then, depending on the circumstances, of how employees participate, in the cost, of their insurance, they’ll have to absorb all or part of it,” explains Sterling. Well isn't that par for the course, a tax is "levied" against a big business and what does big business do? They pass it on to someone else. Be damn nice if I could pass my tax burden on to some other party. If people truly want to take a step to fix this nations problems, the first step should be a total overhaul of our tax system. This allowing of certain parties to "pass on"
    their tax responsibility and this handing out of "tax exempt status" has gone on far to long.

    • Rodney Hytonen

      The allowance of government protecting and guaranteeing business profits is what caused this.

      It has a name, and as soon as we recognize that, we'll start to fix it.

      The word "profit" occurs nowhere in the Bill of Rights.

      • Aaron

        What would you have government do, control our business environment?

  • A.J.

    Wow. Comma much?

  • Jason412

    This is from the health care site

    "You may qualify for employer health care tax credits if you have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees making an average of about $50,000 a year or less."

    "Higher benefits for smaller businesses
    The tax credit is highest for companies with fewer than 10 employees who are paid an average of $25,000 or less. The smaller the business, the bigger the credit.

    Example of how the tax credit works
    Example for an employer who qualifies for the maximum credit worth 50% of their premium contribution in 2014:

    Number of employees: 10

    Wages: $250,000 total or $25,000 per employee

    Employer contribution to employee premiums: $70,000

    Tax credit amount: $35,000 (50% of employer's contribution)"

    This I found on google (it moderates me every time I post links so I'm trying to stop)

    "• Small businesses will not be required to provide health insurance, but will get tax credits to reduce premium costs if they choose to offer group plans."

    Regardless of Obamacare working or not I can't wait for news stories to stop saying things like
    "Sterling claims...."
    "Sterling says what he's heard"

    Where are the facts of this story? Good or bad I don't care what someone "says he heard" I want to know what someone "knows based in fact"

  • blugldmn

    Natalie Tennant is a strong supporter of this tax and Obamacare
    If you vote for her you can count on more taxes like this being passed by her and the Democratic Party.
    Both her and Obama knew this tax was here and that it would force people onto lesser government insurance programs and they both lied about it.
    If you want to keep your doctor do not vote for Natalie Tennant.

  • Joe

    And of course, congress and their staffs are exempted from it.

    Any comment Sen Manchin?

  • Levelheaded

    You can always depend on those Democrats to come up with a new "Hidden Tax".

  • Michael Gallagher

    Hope all you clowns who vote for a living are happy.