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by John Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO: Small Business Majority

For months it seemed the new 1099 reporting rules in the health care law were destined to bounce from one chamber of Congress to the other without lawmakers finding a solution to the requirement that would mire small businesses in mountains of paperwork - if it went into effect in 2012. Fortunately, lawmakers were able to come together and break the seemingly endless volley after both bodies passed legislation fixing the onerous measure. The Senate’s vote on April 5, sent the bill to the president for his signature, which will put the matter to rest once and for all.

The Affordable Care Act has many benefits for small businesses, but the 1099 provision would have worked against them. Included in the law only as a revenue-generating measure, the reporting rules would have required businesses to file a 1099 form for the purchase of any goods or services over $600. Small business owners all over the nation called on legislators to fix the provision, and a broad range of business groups, large and small across the political spectrum, added their voices to the outcry.

Small businesses need to learn about the provisions in the Affordable Care Act that hold the greatest promise for them, specifically the small business tax credits and health insurance marketplaces, which will lower their health care costs and give them the choice they want and need. The 1099 issue, which had nothing to do with health care reform, was overshadowing the true benefits the law holds for small businesses.

Now that the president has signed this 1099 fix into law, we can concentrate on smoothly implementing the Affordable Care Act so small business owners can take advantage of the many benefits it provides, and get back to doing what they do best—creating jobs and growing our economy.

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