Health insurance tax could cost 286,000 jobs

The Affordable Care Act's health tax on insurers will cut up to 286,000 jobs by 2023, according to a new study from the National Federation of Independent Business, a nonprofit association of business owners that supports the tax.

Small businesses likely will see the biggest hit, as the NFIB estimated 57 percent of the job losses will come from the small business market.

"When employers are faced with double-digit rate increases, to add a few additional percentage points to the renewal just makes that health insurance less affordable and makes it less likely for them to recruit additional employees to provide better services," Tom Harte, president of the National Association of Health Underwriters, told Fox Business.

The tax will affect states disproportionately. The NFIB projected California, for example, will suffer the most job losses--23,000 fewer jobs by 2023 and $4 billion in lost sales for small businesses. Texas could lose 14,500 jobs and $2.5 billion in small business sales.

States' Medicaid programs also could suffer since some insurers are trying to shift the tax to their Medicaid members, potentially costing states $39 billion between 2014 and 2023, depending on how quickly they expand their programs. And consumers could feel the impact through their premiums, which the American Action Forum estimates will rise by $101 in 2014 and by $143 in 2015 and 2016 because of the tax, the Daily Caller reported.

The Obama administration has defended the health insurance tax, saying it will accumulate $8 billion this year and $14.3 billion by 2018.

To learn more:
- here's the NFIB study (.pdf)
- read the Fox Business article
- see the Daily Caller article