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Monday, September 21, 2009

Small Biz Health Care Daily: Clinical Lab Tax = Small Business Tax

Included in the health care reform proposal put forth by U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was an estimated $750 million tax per year on clinical laboratories.

According to Alan Mertz, the president of the American Clinical Laboratory Association, this “will damage efforts to enhance prevention and wellness, and raise health care costs.” Mertz is absolutely correct.

This also is another tax on small, entrepreneurial firms.

In 2006 (latest Census Bureau data), there were 7,879 medical and diagnostic laboratories in the U.S.

Of those firms, 96.6 percent had fewer than 500 employees, and 78.9 percent had fewer than 20 employees. About half had fewer than five employees.

As is usually the case with new taxes, small business gets hit. The proposed tax on clinical labs is a direct tax on small, innovative businesses.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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