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Opinion

Opinion

Obamacare is good for small business

July 21, 2012

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One of the prevailing myths of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is that it will bankrupt small businesses by forcing them to provide health insurance to their workers.

This myth is perpetuated by the opponents of the Affordable Care Act, as well as the media. A July 28 Associated Press story, for example, said, “Most employers will face fines if they don’t offer coverage for their workers.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Affordable Care Act is designed to help small businesses by curtailing the skyrocketing costs of providing coverage to employees. In addition to access to affordable coverage for existing small businesses, health care reform also could be a boon to aspiring entrepreneurs.

The fact is, most employers WILL NOT be required to offer health insurance. Companies with 50 or fewer employees are specifically exempt from the requirement in the Affordable Care Act. And, U.S. Census and Small Business Administration statistics show that 96 percent of small businesses have fewer than 50 employees.

What about the 4 percent of businesses that will be required to offer health insurance or face fines? How much of a burden will it be on them? Nearly all of those companies already offer health insurance to employees. According to annual employer surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 93 percent of businesses with 50-199 employees and 99 percent of companies with more than 200 employees offer health insurance.

So, the overwhelming majority of businesses will be exempt from the requirement and those that aren’t exempt are likely already offering health insurance. That being the case, what effect will the Affordable Care Act have on small businesses? This isn’t a “wait and see” question. The law already provides benefits for small businesses in the form of tax credits. Employers with 25 or fewer workers can now receive tax credits up to 35 percent of their portion of health insurance premiums.

The state-based health care exchanges will bring even more benefit to small businesses. Companies with fewer than 100 employees will be able to purchase affordable coverage through the small business exchanges beginning in 2014. And, those eligible small businesses that purchase coverage through the exchanges can receive a tax credit up to 50 percent of their premium contribution.

It’s not only existing small businesses that will benefit from Obamacare. Affordable health insurance available through the individual health care exchanges may open the door for aspiring entrepreneurs to make the leap into business.

While many factors influence aspiring entrepreneurs’ decisions to leave corporate America and start their own companies, research by the Kauffman-RAND Institute for Entrepreneurship Public Policy and others suggests that losing company-paid health benefits is a deterrent for some corporate workers who might otherwise start a business. By providing access to affordable individual health insurance, the Affordable Care Act will remove this barrier to innovation and entrepreneurship.

But the loss of corporate health benefits doesn’t just deter aspiring entrepreneurs; it also deters many of the best and brightest employees from taking jobs in small businesses. This makes it harder for small businesses to recruit top talent. Even those small companies that can match corporate wages may have difficulty affording comparable health benefits. A study by the Whitehouse Council of Economic Advisers found small businesses pay about 18 percent more than large businesses for the same health care coverage. The high cost of providing health care coverage puts small businesses at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting the best and brightest workers.

The Affordable Care Act provides solutions that will help small businesses in their recruiting efforts. First, the state-based small business exchanges will provide access to affordable health insurance plans for small employers, allowing them to offer better coverage and more options to prospective employees. Many of those small companies also will receive the additional boost of tax credits to offset premium costs.

Second, access to affordable personal health care coverage through the individual health care exchanges will free employees from the tethers of employer-based coverage and open employment options for them. This will remove barriers to employment even in those small companies that can’t afford to offer health care benefits or choose not to.

Although not perfect, the Affordable Care Act offers a plan for abating the decades-long rise in health care costs for businesses. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, health care premium costs for businesses skyrocketed by more than 113 percent from 2001 to 2011.

The status quo before health care reform was unsustainable as small businesses were increasingly unable to meet the high cost of providing coverage. Obamacare may not answer all of the health care challenges facing small business and America, but it’s a start.

— David Day is a communications professional in Lawrence. He has worked to support and promote small business in various capacities since 1996, including as director of marketing for KTEC and executive editor of a Kansas City small business publication.

Comments

anotherview 2 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for this article. There has been so much misinformation about the Affordable Care Act, it is nice to hear someone explain how the Act will benefit small business. There are many other good aspects of the Act that are beneficial to individuals as well. People need to turn off the noise and find out the true facts.

Jeff Barclay 2 years, 5 months ago

Not disagreeing with any of the content. Helpful article. This is information that I had not previously read. But the elephant in the room remains- "After the administrative ink is dry someone has to pay for all of this Who is paying for all of this? Medical procedure cost controls? Limiting insurance company profits? Someone's taxes are going up."

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Who is paying for all the uninsured's health care now? Which insurance companies were not paying most of their money towards health care, instead giving it to their CEOs and investors? Who keeps spreading the lies about health care reform?

Getaroom 2 years, 5 months ago

Great article on very important points. Thanks posting.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Since the fine is so low, it's likely many of those young healthy people will just pay it, rather than get insurance, right? That's what you said on another story about this.

So, it won't be a "massive transfer of wealth" from them to anybody else.

Whether or not insurance rates will go up, and whether or not they'll go up at a higher or lower rate than they've been going up is uncertain, it seems to me. Since the fine is low, and small businesses don't have to pay it, they won't be able to count on a large bunch of new customers, or even keeping existing ones.

So they may very well have to compete for customers, which might mean the rates would be more reasonable - that's the idea of competition, isn't it?

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Ok - what does that have to do with your previous post?

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Many states, including Kansas, only allow certain health care providers to do business within the state. Something that the conservatives have railed against in the past. Now instead there will be insurance companies on a national exchange competing with each other. Oh my, I thought conservatives were for competition. LO, you are flip flopping more than Romney.

pace 2 years, 5 months ago

the only sponger in the room is corporate.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

And yet, people aren't in fact forced to buy it by this law, as you yourself have pointed out.

voevoda 2 years, 5 months ago

How does having access to affordable health insurance "punish" people who stay healthy? Even healthy people suffer occasional illness and injury. How does having access to affordable health insurance "eliminate financial incentives to not be unhealthy." There are much more serious incentives to preserve one's health: 1) the ability to work and earn a living; 2) avoiding the cost of medications and health-care equipment; 3) enjoying the recreations of travel, sports, etc.; 4) feeling good. Libertarian utopianism cannot dismiss human nature, Liberty_One. A lot of us aren't motivated primarily by a desire to accumulate money. A lot of us enjoy the dignity that comes from labor. We enjoy taking responsibility for ourselves, which includes preparing for unforeseen health problems. We feel a responsibility towards our fellow human beings, helping them when they are in need and not trying to get rich at their expense. You have a problem with "socialist utopian good intentions"? A lot of us--we're not socialists, by the way--have problems with libertarian selfish intentions.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

No one dies healthy. Statistically, you will be injured or get sick at some point in your life.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

That seems quite over the top.

People are quite capable of caring both about themselves and others - one doesn't have to make the stark choice between selfishness and self sacrificing altruism that Rand posited. In fact, I imagine that happiness is only possible for human beings when they do both.

Some people may in fact work hard, even if there's no financial incentive to do so. It's more rewarding in a number of ways to do so.

But, I agree that in our society, most people are so conditioned to be materialistic that they wouldn't do that.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Your comment about the "collective over oneself" suggests such a choice.

And, in fact, I think a lot of people think in a "class conscious" way, and feel more comfortable with those of similar circumstances. But I don't know the precise meaning of the term as Marx used it.

Incentives do matter - it's just that there are different kinds of incentives, not just financial ones.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Marxists and Ayn Rand, apparently.

Probably not - I imagine the professors feel more comfortable with each other and the construction workers likewise - in this country, they're from different "classes", aren't they?

voevoda 2 years, 5 months ago

Your first mistake, Liberty_One, is to assume that people who disagree with you are "Marxists." That just proves that you don't know enough about economic philosophies to post on public forums.

woodscolt 2 years, 5 months ago

Liberty, you have no clue what Marxism is and you have proven that in your posts over and over and over. You just can't find middle ground between people who understand that working together and helping each other benefits everyone involved. You take that and go a million miles away to come up with your marx crap. There is a huge middle ground that you just don't get and that is why you are so flawed with your ideology.

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 5 months ago

"The problem being ignored is that insurance rates will go up." That didn't happen in Massachusetts.

ronswenson41 2 years, 5 months ago

The rates have gone up 113 % in the past ten years. This will stop the further exorbitant increases. The law has many problems because it was put together and revised so many times to get past all the roadblocks. If we can get some sensible congressmen in the future they will fix it. We need people like Bob Dole who worked hard for many years getting deals worked out the are good for the country, not blocking progress.

rtwngr 2 years, 5 months ago

How does it "curtail the skyrocketing costs" of healthcare? On the back of the taxpayer. This is bad legislation. More involvement by the government does not fix the problems it only exacerbates them.

How did this guy get an Op-Ed. Communications director for small business? Big whoop. I have more bonafides than this boob. I have run a couple of successful businesses and I can tell you right now this entire op-ed is based on assumptions.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

You can get an oped too. You just need to write a long letter to the editor that can't be put into the regular letters. Then they put you in "Take a Stand", or whatever they call it now. Start here. http://www2.ljworld.com/submit/letter_to_the_editor/

Now would you like to dispute the validity of what this writer had to say? Little of what he said was opinion. It was real facts about the law. Small companies are not going to be fined. Can you show real evidence that this is not true?

Here is a lesson on critical thinking. Here is a fact. Small companies are not going to be fined by this legislation for not providing insurance. Of those companies that could be fined, 99% already offer insurance to their employees. Fact, they are not requiring these companies to pay the entire cost of the insurance. Just like now they will pass on some costs to their employees, but the insurance will still be cheaper in a group insurance plan. Small companies who have been wanting to provide insurance for their employees, but can't will now have the ability to join an exchange, so their employees can afford the same insurance that large businesses can afford.

Here is an opinion. Large corporations would like this to continue the status quo, because they will lose good employees and some of those good employees will now be free to quit and start businesses to compete against the big businesses. I have no real proof of this yet, so it is based on my own opinion. You may not agree that health benefits attract and retain good employees, while at the same time binding them to the company, so that is also an opinion.

camper 2 years, 5 months ago

Health care premiums to businesses have increased 113% from 2001 to 2011. I would venture that the a similar increase has been absorbed by individuals. I am not entirely behind the Affordable Care Act, but can anyone deny that reform is needed?

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

What do health insurance benefits in a small business have to do with taxes?

Doug Weston 2 years, 5 months ago

rtwngr: You say that you've "run" a couple of successful businesses, but you don't say whether you've owned one. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you are, or have been, a small business owner. In that case, you have (or should have) written business plans for those businesses. Business plans are based on assumptions---the biz owner's best educated guess (based on research and trends) of what will happen in the future that will impact the business. Like a business plan, the ACA is based on assumptions. Some of those assumptions will turn out wrong and some will turn out right (just as happens when businesses create a business plan). Nobody can predict the future, but one thing that isn't based on assumptions is the past. And the past clearly shows that health care costs for businesses have risen at an unsustainable rate over the past decade or more. Something needed to be done to keep health coverage costs affordable for small business (and individuals). Many people (even some who know me) may think I am, indeed, a "boob," as you say, but I know that the status quo was not working for small business. As someone who has run a couple of successful small businesses, you should know that too. Again, the ACA isn't perfect, but it is a starting point. Instead of looking to dismantle it, I'd like to see those who oppose the ACA but truly care about small business work to improve it and make it even better for small business. --David Day

cato_the_elder 2 years, 5 months ago

"Obamacare may not answer all of the health care challenges facing small business and America, but it’s a start."

You bet it's a start. It's carefully designed to be the first step of Obama's master plan for government-run socialized medicine. One can only hope that if the author of this canned drivel gets his way, when he needs a quick knee replacement in his later years he'll then find out why so many people who live in places where socialized medicine has taken over travel to America for their health care:

http://blog.heritage.org/2010/02/09/the-canadian-patients%E2%80%99-remedy-for-health-care-go-to-america/

racerx 2 years, 5 months ago

Uhhh, if the "author of this canned drivel needs a knee replacement in his later years" it'll probably be paid for by Medicare, aka "socialized" health care that Americans in both parties strongly support.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

I wish I could double like this response. +100

cato_the_elder 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, and as long as we don't ruin our current system by allowing Obamacare to work its insidious way into it, he'll still be able to get his knee replacement when he needs it, which was my point.

racerx 2 years, 5 months ago

That's all well and good if you can hold off all of your medical problems until covered by Medicare. But for people who are being priced out of health care coverage now, the ACA at least offers some hope for affordable coverage. What has the GOP offered as far as lowering health care costs over the past 40 years? Nada.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 5 months ago

A quote from the study that is cited in the article:

"However, combined with a preliminary investigation of crossborder patient care seeking using nonpublic funding sources, these analyses do not support the perception of widespread cross-border medical care seeking by Ontario residents."

voevoda 2 years, 5 months ago

cato_the_elder, If you don't like the term "government-run socialized medicine" because of your philosophical prejudices, just call it "single payer medical insurance." It works for Canada, it works for New Zealand, and it could work for us.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 5 months ago

Sure it works for Canada. That's why so many Canadians come here for health care services that they can't obtain there.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 5 months ago

" That's why so many Canadians come here for health care services that they can't obtain there."

It is too bad that this statement is not supported by any credible research. Medical tourism would be great for our economy in terms of jobs and supporting services. In reality, medical tourism costs the US billions in lost revenue each year, in the form of our citizens seeking care in other countries. The fact is that the US is not a medical tourism destination due to the cost of care. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Americans-look-abroad-to-save-on-health-care-3274578.php

While it is easy to provide anecdotal examples of people coming to the US from Canada for care, there simply is not evidence of widespread cross boarder seeking of medical care.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 5 months ago

That's just your brainwashed opinion. The excellent analysis I posted (there are many such) make it quite clear that Canadians come here in droves for medical care that they can't get in Canada.

The President of the Canadian Medical Society, Anne Doig, confirmed this a few years ago when she stated that the Canadian system of socialized medicine was "imploding" and needed to look to the private system of medical care in the U.S. for guidance.

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 5 months ago

I know a lot of people who get their prescriptions filled in Canada because it's a lot cheaper than here.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 5 months ago

And here is another article that is relevant.....the number of Americans seeking health care in Mexico

http://www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu/NewsReleaseDetails.aspx?id=4

beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

Cato, you are off your game. Didn't you get the latest version of The Tea Party Talking Points newsletter? It isn't just "the first step of Obama's master plan for a government-run socialized medicine." You are suppose to say it is Obama's first step toward a Socialist America!

You are slipping.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 5 months ago

The reality is that Obamacare is only one of many facets of Obama's efforts to turn America into a European socialist state, which was his secondary goal of running for president. (His primary goal was to feed his own narcissistic ego.) What do your Daily Kos talking points tell you to say in a vain attempt to rebut that? Try googling "GM and Chrysler" for starters.

progressive_thinker 2 years, 5 months ago

You are correct. The notion that a lot of Canadians seek medical care in the US is well debunked myth.

There is well established research that indicates that far more Americans seek care in foreign medical facilities than foreigners seeking medical care in American facilities.

Jon Jambor 2 years, 5 months ago

This opinion piece should have been titled "Obamacare is good for some small business, but bad for some, too". It is bad for businesses who want to expand to greater than 50 employees. It is bad for faith based businesses.

please feel free to add your own....

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

"It is bad for businesses who want to expand to greater than 50 employees."

No, it merely means they won't have a competitive advantage over the 93% of their competitors who already offer healthcare coverage.

"It is bad for faith based businesses."

It's not really bad for these businesses at all who block access to healthcare to some of their employees, but it most certainly is good for those employees.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

I know this is a useless, but can you dispute any of the facts that he pointed out? We all know you have insurance through your employer, so how is your life really going to change?

pace 2 years, 5 months ago

The information in the article is accurate. You seem to believe that accurate information is propaganda. You should look up the big words. Your argument fails. I appreciate that you are expressing how you feel. You have that right.

racerx 2 years, 5 months ago

Do some research. The ACA includes an excise tax of 40 percent on "Cadillac" plans beginning in 2018. And no, despite initial screaming and gnashing of teeth from Republicans, unions are not exempt from this provision. Although, the implementation was set far enough in advance to accommodate multi-year labor agreements.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

The exchanges are in fact modeled after the health care coverage plans that elected officials get now.

racerx 2 years, 5 months ago

sierraclub: Again, do some research that isn't limited to Fox news. Not only are Members of Congress not exempt, beginning in 2014 they will be REQUIRED to obtain their insurance through the state exchanges. Here is the relevant part of the ACA:

Section 1312 of the Affordable Care Act reads as follows:

(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.-

(i) REQUIREMENT.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are-

(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

(ii) DEFINITIONS.-In this section:

(I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS.-The term ”Member of Congress” means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

(II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF.-The term ”congressional staff” means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.

prowland 2 years, 5 months ago

as the founder of a small business (35 employees) that offers its employees health insurance and a 401K i am surprised that so few comments have addressed a key underlying motive for health care reform -- viz, our insurance rates increased dramatically every year, with no increase in benefits, every year of the Bush Administration's do-nothing health-care policy. I am less surprised by the reliance of commentors critical of Day's piece on fear-based platitudes -- e.g., socialized medicing - rather than addressing the substance of the very informative piece

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

Are you referring to Medicare Advantage? I would think you would be opposed to that program, because it's government subsidies to insurance companies.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

Me, too. Did you know that the Medicare Advantage is scaled back in the Affordable Care Act?

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm no longer a government worker. I have a small business. This bill will actually make it easier for my employees to be insured.

Jon Jambor 2 years, 5 months ago

A business owner who employs 50 or more at completely different companies -- say, 25 at a car repair shop and 25 at a restaurant -- would have to provide insurance at both, even if each falls below the threshold.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm not sure that's right at all - do you have a source for it?

A car repair shop that employs 25 is a small business, and a restaurant that employs the same is as well.

Since the definition is of "small businesses", I would imagine both of those would qualify, even if owned by the same person.

camper 2 years, 5 months ago

This is a good article and it dispells the misinformation that we are getting from the Republicans.

Having said that, and also recognize I like aspects of the Act, I do not believe it is the direction we should have taken. Our Health Care delivery system is fast becoming more complex than our tax code and legal code. Adding this Bill only makes our system more complex.

In my mind, our entire Health Care payment system needs to be dismantled entirely and needs a fresh-start. But since this will never happen, a public option should have been the direction we went. Business needs to get out of the business of providing health care. Doctors need to get back to practicing medicine. All of this complex payment and insurance is a nightmare for business, doctors, and patients.

A public option will relieve pressure from business and individuals. It will make business more competitive with other countries. It will help businesses retain jobs rather than outsourcing them. When will we realize this? Public Option......the way to go.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

The public option is ideal. No one should be making profits off our health to the extent that we are victimized by profit decisions. (This is already happening. Some needed drugs are not produced because they are not profitable.) There are too many powerful players opposed to any revamp. I'm waiting to see how well Obamacare pulls together what we have. I'm sure we will need more legislation, but to fix what? Tort reform would easy to legislate separately.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

None of those are as personal as health. On the industries you list, I agree with you.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

There are differing kinds and levels of demand, that affect how well free market forces operate.

With less elastic demand, like health care, those forces work less well than with more elastic demand.

And, they work best of all when people can simply choose not to buy anything at all - that's the best incentive for a business to provide a quality service at a reasonable price.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Umm, when you are in an emergency situation, and time is of the essence, you don't have time or often the mental faculties to make those choices.

So, no they don't work as well - as I said, the best situation is one in which businesses can't count on any demand, that forces them to provide things people want at reasonable prices.

The less elastic demand gets, the less well those forces operate to provide quality at affordable prices, because businesses can count on a certain level of demand. That's one reason that it's hard to find decent places to rent in Lawrence at reasonable prices, one reason food prices go up, etc.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

No it doesn't - emergency medical care is part of health care.

Also, in order for the market forces to work effectively in health care, consumers have to be very well educated, informed, and assertive about their health care, which is often not the case.

Any business that caters to less elastic demand is more secure than one that doesn't - not completely secure, of course.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, it's true of many sectors of the economy, in fact.

Auto mechanics, home improvement contractors, etc. are other examples of it. To understand why, think about how people make decisions about these sorts of interactions. If you don't know anything about cars, how do you decide which mechanic to go to, and whether or not they're ripping you off? And, without that sort of information, people will often continue to go to bad mechanics. The idea of competition and market forces operating to weed out the bad ones only works with informed, assertive customers.

The same is true of health care - if one is uninformed and unassertive about one's health, one may very well just go to a bad doctor, and follow their advice, continuing to do so regardless of the outcome. This means that market forces don't work to bring quality health care at affordable prices.

It may mean that we get cheap doctors who aren't very good, of course.

The market only works to deliver products that people are willing to buy at the prices offered. That may be fine with things like cell phones, that people can simply choose not to buy, but isn't a great model for health care.

Patricia Davis 2 years, 5 months ago

There is an inherent difference between railways and factories and health care. Other civilized nations see this, do this, have lower costs and better health care outcomes.

Where someone works should not determine the quality of their healthcare. This is Sarah Palin's death panels at work in the trenches.

France's health care bears a greater look. Their health care "smart card" caries all patient information, reducing complexity of paperwork and insuring greater continuity of care.

There is a better way for America to heal itself though a more productive, less expensive health care delivery system. It will help every business if we have a system that reduces the profit and increases job opportunities for all.

Patricia Davis 2 years, 5 months ago

No, they don't. You are conflating Darwin and supply and demand. In other so called "lesser" countries because they lack the American "exceptionalism", they are doing better than we are doing. Take the profit out of health care. It should not be a "profit center."

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

Good grief, Liberty. Are you always this caustic?

JackMcKee 2 years, 5 months ago

I have a small business with less than 50 employees. One of my biggest expenses is healthcare. I agree 100% with the sentiments of this LTE. The ACA still needs some work, but it's a great start.

camper 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually there are many honorable small business owners who want to provide health care plans to their employees, not soley for the reason of attracting "talent". I don't like the trend of employer premiums continuing to rise. Why doesn't Romney call rising premiums a "Job Killer".

Liberty, a Public Option would enable the individual to "foot" the bill and free up the employer to focus on business. This is what the public option is a about. It is the opposite of "sponging".

camper 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't think so. The key word is Option.

JackMcKee 2 years, 5 months ago

Liberty, what an absolutely asinine statement. Nobody is going to pay my employee's healthcare costs except myself. What is it you do? You seem like a trust fund baby.

JackMcKee 2 years, 5 months ago

In an ideal world one's healthcare wouldn't be connected to their employment. It really doesn't make any sense that it is in the first place. If it hadn't been for right wing obstructionism we would have the public option and we would be on the path to employment/healthcare independence. My hope is that the ACA is a first step in that direction.

camper 2 years, 5 months ago

Liberty, health insurance began it's tie to employment decades ago as a fringe benefit. It grew from there. It was not government intervention that started it. It was the health insurance business that made it grow into the monster it is today. Public Option is the way to go.

camper 2 years, 5 months ago

I had to research this one a little. True. The wage controls started the bad idea of employers providing health insurance as a perk. The seeds were sown as one source cited. However, wage controls were rescinded soon after WWII and this does not explain why this practice continued and grew. I argue that it was an employer method of competing for employees. I must also say that private expansion of the health care industry is just as bad and even worse and shares many of the same flaws you might consider similar to Government. Big Business is as bad as Big Government sometimes.

camper 2 years, 5 months ago

"100% due to government intervention" That is a pretty impressive average, Liberty. My guess is 43.54% ):

kansasredlegs 2 years, 5 months ago

I haven't had a insurance claim on my auto or home insurance policies in years, but I be darned if the premium doesn't keep going up.

Don't know which side is correct, but I darned well know that costs will NOT go down.

ghamon 2 years, 5 months ago

As a small business owner with less than 50 employees it is good news to hear that I am exempt from Obamacare, but not so much for my employees I would guess. As I understand it, everyone must have health insurance or pay a penality, ie "TAX" for not being a responsible citizen. There have been times in my life that I did not have health insurance, not because I was a lowlife, and not a responsible person, I just could not afford it and felt at the time that food for my family , house payments and buying fuel to get to work were more important, so I took a chance, hoping that no one would get sick before we starved to death or got kicked out of our home. You have a choice under Obamacare. Buy insurance or send a check to the government so they can buy it for you. Walk into any emergency room in the country and what is the first thing you see? A large sign which reads "You are entitled to care even if you cannot afford to pay." They say I have to pay higher premiums for those who do not have insurance. That's fine by me. Just keep the government out of it.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

If your employees make up to 4x the poverty level, they won't have to pay a fine.

ronswenson41 2 years, 5 months ago

The reason the government has to step in is the the businesses have been so greedy raising premiums and denying care to those with preexisting conditions.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 5 months ago

"...Then the Lord Govt turned the retailer and the manufacturer and the wholesaler and all the servicers, and said,

“I will make your taxes and regulations very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to profit. You shall be afflicted with plagues of audits, the coming of Osha, and the trials of Irs. By the sweat of thy brow you will earn thy living until you return it to Me. You will suffer the droughts of subsidy and stimulus, and will thirst forever. You're welcome." "

Read the rest at http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2012/07/you-didnt-build-that.html

ghamon 2 years, 5 months ago

You are absolutely correct Jack. Employers should have no business in the insurance business. They should provide a wage which would allow employees to purchase their own insurance on the open market. Likewise, the government has no business in the insurance business. Allow them control and they will dictate the outcome.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

Ghamon, Insurance companies control and dictate the outcome and have for a long time. My personal experience has been that insurance companies control what treatments are allowed regardless of what would be best for the circumstances.

Jon Jambor 2 years, 5 months ago

A business owner who employs 50 or more at completely different companies would have to provide insurance at both, even if each falls below the threshold. I suspect that Mr. Day's stats ignore the percentage of small businesses owned by the same person.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks.

I wonder how many truly small businesses will be affected by this - any idea?

progressive_thinker 2 years, 5 months ago

I have not seen anything in terms of numbers. My understanding is that the provisions were to prevent companies from dodging the insurance requirements by splitting into two entities solely for the purpose of staying below the 50 employee threshold.

What I know for sure is that this is very complicated, but then again, I suppose that it would be hard to make it really simple.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

The sheer volume of the conservative counter attack against Obama's enactment of the Romney Health Care Plan is what took me by surprise and the fact that they were able to demagogue this into an election day windfall was another surprise.

Very little of the political discussions regarding health care have been informative and I suppose this too is by design.

The fact of the matter is that most Americans know we need to do something to fix the system and the Obama plan has more merit than anything we have seen. The Republicans and the Libertarians have made it very clear that they do not want to participate in finding a solution for the 50 million Americans who have no health care. We get it. You want to opt out of being responsible for anybody but yourselves.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

What is the solution offered by Libertarians?

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

The ACA has cost savings built in. One piece was already been eliminated because the cost was cold not be covered. (I forgot what it was. Does anyone know?)

Also, I recall reading that the GOP has other designs for the cost savings. Sorry, my memory is not great. Can someone fill in the information?

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

Corporate welfare and elimination of taxes is what is taking down this country.

...and the power of propaganda to manipulate the masses.

camper 2 years, 5 months ago

I think the giant pile of turd that the Insurance Industry has helped make our health care delivery system into is a prime example that Big Business is often as jumbled and complex as many complain the Government is. Both parties have made the practice of medicine and paying for it into a terrible and awfuly inefficient and complex system.

The whole thing needs to be taken down and fresh-started. Since this will not happen. I say Public Option is the way to go.

camper 2 years, 5 months ago

I honestly believe that everyone paying in cash would be better and more humane than what we have now.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

The Tax Justice Network’s report estimates that unreported offshore wealth held in tax havens has reached at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32 trillion. That wealth means that the problem of inequality in wealth and income is actually worse than suspected, the group says.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/07/22/tax-justice-network-wealth-held-in-tax-havens-skyrockets/

You wonder sometimes why the politicians love to argue and never actually get anything done. Well they are getting a lot done but would rather we did not know about it. Why would anyone complain that we are not being fair to the ultra rich?

tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

The additional cost of the mandate that business provide healthcare to all employees (or pay the fine, aka, tax) will force business to not open in the first place, not expand / hire more employees, lay-off employees, convert full-time employees to part time, and / or close.

Revenue – expenses = profit.

Insufficient profit means the business isn’t worth doing. Only slaves work for free.

  • 8th grade civics class lesson on economics.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, except for the fact that small businesses with fewer than 50 employees won't have to pay a fine.

And the fact that the fines, if similar to the ones for individuals, are much lower than the costs of providing health insurance.

I predict we may see a wholesale of elimination of health insurance benefits in small businesses.

tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

Good. Heath insurance coupled to employment is a WWII bad idea from the era of FDRs unconstitutional price controls. It kills competitionin the market and drives up the cost.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, we'll see what happens.

Unless employers increase salaries by somewhere near the amount they're paying for insurance benefits now, I predict a lot of folks who will need government subsidies to afford insurance coverage.

I'm sure you're against that.

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