Gretchen Carlson misrepresented the health care reform bill to claim that if small business owners do not offer health insurance, they will face “an 8 percent penalty.” In fact, only businesses with payroll exceeding $400,000 annually that fail to provide insurance would pay that penalty.
Fox News' Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson misrepresented the health care reform bill introduced by House Democrats to claim that “the real victim, potentially, of this health care reform ... is the small business owner,” because “they are going to be hit potentially with this health care reform if they don't offer health care to their employees -- an 8 percent penalty on them.” In fact, under the House bill, small businesses with combined annual payroll of less than $250,000 would not face a penalty for failing to providing health insurance; only businesses with payroll exceeding $400,000 annually would pay that penalty. Further, the bill establishes tax credits for small business employers that do provide health care.
America's Affordable Health Choices Act would establish a 2 percent payroll penalty for employers with combined payroll between $250,000-$300,000 that don't offer health insurance to employees; 4 percent for employers with $300,000-$350,000 in payroll; and 6 percent for employers with $350,000-$400,000 in payroll.
From the July 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
CARLSON: Well, as I was stating yesterday, if you're a Republican, I don't think you need to even delve into the mess; you just know you're not going to vote for it, because these amazing taxes that would now be accumulating against the people who have been successful in this country would be well over 50 percent. I think in most of the states now people in a certain income bracket would be paying over 50 percent for the first time since 1986? Is that the correct --
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Thirty-nine states.
CARLSON: Thirty-nine states. I mean, that's an amazing thing, but here is the real victim, potentially, of this health care reform -- and that is the small business owner. And these are the people who have been lobbying for the last couple of months, saying, “What about the bailout for us?”
Yeah, bail out the banks, bail out the car industry, but what about small business? Now they are going to be hit potentially with this health care reform if they don't offer health care to their employees --
CLAYTON MORRIS (guest co-host): Right.
CARLSON: -- an 8 percent penalty on them.
MORRIS: Yeah. And the outrage was palpable on Capitol Hill yesterday, of course, talking about how this could affect the economy at large. Take a listen to some Republicans yesterday.
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA) [video clip]: Who's going to pay for all of this? And it's clear in their bill who is paying for this are the small businessmen and women.
REP. KEVIN BRADY (R-TX) [video clip]: This is taking health care in a direction I think no American wants to see.
REP. KEVIN McCARTHY (R-CA) [video clip]: Better solutions, looking at the patient to make the decisions, not government.
REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN) [video clip]: The proposal by House Democrats amounts to a government takeover of our health care economy.
DOOCY: And there's the president who wants to ram this through before the senators and congressmen take their summer vacation coming up very shortly. Now, here's the thing: Charlie Rangel, who is in charge of the Ways and Means Committee, said that the reason that they have targeted high earners is because, quote, “It causes the least amount of pain on the least amount of people.” Hey, Charlie --
CARLSON: I saw that part.
DOOCY: Charlie, the problem is, you are creating pain for the people who create jobs in this country. And so many of those small businessmen -- and, apparently, two of three jobs in America come from small businesses -- they pay their taxes, their business taxes, on their individual income return forms.
DOOCY: And so, that's the problem. And for New Yorkers, they -- some New Yorkers will face a top marginal tax rate of 58.6 percent -- 60 percent. So, in other words, every other day when you go to work --
DOOCY: -- at least, you're working for the government to pay taxes.