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Tax credits in President Obama’s healthcare law aren’t big enough to prompt small businesses to start offering healthcare benefits, the Government Accountability Office said Monday.

Fewer businesses than expected have been taking the tax credit.

The Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that the credits would total $2 billion in 2010, but instead businesses only claimed $468 million, according to the GAO.

Similarly, a recent report from the advocacy group Families USA said that as many as 2.5 million businesses were eligible for the tax credit but failed to claim it.

GAO said it couldn’t pin down the number of eligible businesses, but concluded interest has been limited in part because the credit is too small. It’s not big enough to change the minds of companies that aren’t offering healthcare coverage, GAO said, citing interviews with small businesses and insurance brokers.

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