Having used creative bribery (with our tax dollars), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apparently has all sixty Democrats on board for a cloture vote to begin debate on his 2,074-page health care bill. While this vote will bring the legislation one step closer to passage, we still have a ways to go before Democrats succeed in increasing federal control over our health care system.
The bill would create new federal bureaucracies and increase the power of existing ones. It increases taxes, creates new fees and eliminates or otherwise limits the scope of deductions already in place. It will make our health care system increasingly complex, adding to the paper work burden for businesses. This could become particularly burdensome for small businesses. To avoid running afoul with the law, entrepreneurs will have to divert resources from improving the quality of their product and increasing the efficiency with which they bring that product to market to consulting with lawyers and filling out forms.
Hardly a productive use of their time.
Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson contends the costs of compliance could be “in the thousands of dollars even for a small employer“:
Under Reid’s bill, and the House version, employers of all sizes will have to hire someone — either on staff for larger companies or third party vendors for small employers — to navigate the new health care regulations, reporting requirements, and tax provisions. This bill will create jobs, but in the least productive sectors of our economy.
Already, so much of our economy is devoted to satisfying federal paperwork requirements. This is unproductive work which adds nothing to our economic competitiveness. Every dollar spent on a tax lawyer or accountant is a dollar not spent creating economic opportunities for the business.
Decreasing economic opportunities for businesses at a time when they are shedding jobs? No wonder Harry Reid has scheduled this vote for a Saturday night. (more…)