Are there many ways that a state could shield businesses in their state from an onerous, job killing tax penalty? In most cases – no. But in the case of ObamaCare the answer is a definitive “yes!!!”
ObamaCare seeks to have states set up insurance exchanges or government controlled “markets” whereby federal subsidies are dolled out so that people can buy heavily regulated, government approved health insurance. According to this article from The Wall Street Journal, if a state establishes an exchange, ObamaCare allows the subsidies to be given out (see Section 1311). If a state refuses to set up an exchange, the federal government will do so but ObamaCare does not permit any subsidies for people who access the federal exchanges (see Section 1321).
So, a state that takes a pass on establishing an exchange (as many states have chosen to do) is effectively telling the feds, “we aren’t going to spend state tax dollars to do your dirty work – have at it.” But here is where a state that decides to take a pass can really benefit that state’s economy. Under ObamaCare, if someone receives an exchange subsidy, their employer is subject to a penalty under ObamaCare but if no employees receive a subsidy employers are not subject to the penalty. Get it? The bottom line is that states can protect job creators from onerous federal taxes if they refuse to create and set up an ObamaCare insurance exchange. That is a significant incentive for states to protect their economy and jobs. The alternative is to create an exchange, letting the penalty kick in, resulting in fewer businesses and fewer jobs which will create a double-whammy for state taxpayers. Taxpayer will have to foot the bill to deal with the further strain on a state’s social safety net resulting from higher unemployment and would end up footing the bill to finance a system to hand out federal bennies. A bad deal all around for states, employers, employees and taxpayers.
Read more about this here.