House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.


Fact Sheet

March 25, 2010

A Trillion Dollar Job Killer is Not What the Doctor Ordered

America’s job-creating sector is paralyzed by uncertainty. The Democrats who control Washington are hatching plan after job-killing plan to expand the size and power of the federal government – leaving American enterprise and entrepreneurialism to pay the ultimate price. 

The government takeover of health care strong-armed through the House by Speaker Pelosi in a late-night vote and signed into law by President Obama is not just an attack on medical freedom and innovation – it’s a direct assault on employers at a time when America needs new jobs. 

New Taxes on Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs: Democrats are increasing Medicare taxes by more than $200 billion; this includes raising the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) payroll tax by 0.9 percent and imposing new taxes on self-employment income. Their plan also imposes an unprecedented new 3.8 percent “assessment” – a not-so-clever Washington term for a tax – on non-wage investment income, including interest on savings accounts and dividend income. This will increase the tax burden for the many small businesses that file their taxes as individuals and undermine business owners’ ability to invest, grow, and hire more workers. 

New “Pass-Through” Taxes on Consumers and Businesses: Democrats are imposing $107 billion in new taxes on medical device makers ($20 billion), health insurers ($60 billion), and drug manufacturers ($27 billion) that will be passed on to consumers and businesses in the form of higher premiums for health insurers. Higher costs mean less money for growth and investment.  

Pay-or-Play Mandate – One Way or Another, Job Creators Will Pay: The government takeover of health care is not coming cheap. To finance this trillion-dollar expansion of government, Democrats have decided to impose more than $50 billion in new taxes on employers – including small businesses with as few as 51 workers – who will now have to offer health care plans approved by the federal bureaucracy or pay a steep new penalty tax of $2,000 per worker.  At a time when businesses should be encouraged to add workers to their operation, the Democrats’ plan would penalize those who choose to provide health insurance for their workers – as well as those who cannot afford to do so. 

High Cost “Cadillac” Plan Tax:  Breaking a key pledge of candidate-Obama, the President has signed into law a plan to target and tax high-cost health care plans, or “Cadillac plans,” worth more than $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family.   Whether postponed or not, this new tax is built into the fuzzy math used to justify a trillion dollar health care spending explosion.  Either Democrats will impose the tax as planned – including rapid growth in the next decade, wringing billions from individuals’ health care coverage – or they will backtrack in the future and drive up the deficit.  It’s worth noting that certain small businesses will be ensnared in this new tax because their limited number of employees requires them to finance a more expensive plan.  

If you like your plan, you CAN’T keep it:  Despite Democrats’ rhetoric to the contrary, Americans who like their current coverage will not be able to keep it under Democrats’ government takeover of health care. Although earlier versions of the legislation would have “grandfathered” existing plans, the bill signed into law applies new mandates to the health insurance coverage offered by employers. This will make health care more expensive for workers and job creators alike. 

By the Numbers: 

  • More than $200 billion – total new payroll taxes on employers and workers, and new taxes on non-wage investment income
  • $52 billion – total new taxes on job creators over the next 10 years
  • $70 billion – total taxes imposed on insurance providers, which will be passed on to individuals and the employers who offer coverage to their workers
  • $20 billion – new taxes on medical devices, which will be passed through to consumers and increase costs for individuals and the employers who offer coverage to their workers
  • $27 billion – new taxes on drug manufacturers, which will be added to the nation’s health care bill
  • <51 – the number of workers a business can employ before being hit with a $2,000/worker tax for failing to offer government-approved health care. This is a serious disincentive for small businesses to create jobs