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Congressman Chris Collins hosted a hearing this morning of the Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology focusing on how aspects of ObamaCare affect small businesses across the country.

Fifth-generation farmer, Elba native and New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton was one of the witnesses. The hearing specifically focuses on the “health insurance fee” provision of the health care law. Also known as the HIT tax, it imposes an annual fee on health insurance policies that could be passed on to insurance purchasers in the form of higher premiums. Norton says this, and the fact that insurance coverage has continued to soar since 2000, would be detrimental to his business.

“We have been forced to trim costs," Norton said. "We have changed to a highly-deductible policy that only covers 50 percent of insurance costs at this time. We used to cover 90 percent. In turn, our employees have to contribute a higher portion of their income when they seek medical attention. I think we can all agree that this can be a disincentive for people to seek medical care in some instances.”

Collins calls the fee “burdensome” to small businesses and the American economy. He says “paying higher health insurance means less money for small business owners to invest in their company and expand and hire new employees.”

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