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Happy Birthday, Health Care Reform

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  • Happy Birthday, Health Care Reform

    Happy Birthday, Health Care Reform
    by Kent Hoover Mar 21 2011

    The groundbreaking bill is celebrating its one-year anniversary, but small-business owners and industry watchdogs are still divided on whether the Affordable Care Act helps them or hurts them.


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    As health care reform celebrates its first birthday this week, small businesses can’t agree on whether it’s a beautiful baby or an ugly monster.
    Supporters of the Affordable Care Act plan to hold about 200 events around the country in honor of the bill, which was signed into law March 23, 2010. Today, two small-business groups that backed the bill joined Small Business Administration chief Karen Mills on a press call that touted the bill’s benefits.
    John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, said small businesses can benefit from tax credits that offset up to 35 percent of the cost of their health care premiums. Small businesses also will get better deals on insurance when health insurance exchanges are established in 2014, he said.
    Mark Hodesh, owner of Downtown Home and Garden in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said his company will get a health care tax credit of $15,000 this year, thanks to the legislation. He used this savings to hire an additional employee.
    The Main Street Alliance, a network of state-based coalitions that represent 10,000 small-business owners, is concerned about efforts to repeal or slow down health care reform.
    “Even the possibility of repeal creates harmful uncertainties,” Blair said.
    In order to make decisions, small businesses need to know that benefits like tax credits, insurance exchanges, and stronger reviews of premium increases are here to stay, Blair said.
    America “can’t afford to go back to a health system that stacks the deck against small businesses,” he said.
    A few hours later, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held its own press call, featuring two small-business owners who contended that health care reform’s coverage mandates will raise costs and make them less likely to hire more workers.
    Bill Feinberg, president of Allied Kitchen and Bath Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said he had to trim his workforce to 35 employees during the recession. Things are looking better now, but he’s going to stay below 50 employees no matter what, because that’s the threshold where health care reform’s employer mandate kicks in. Feinberg said he won’t be able to afford the kind of coverage that will be required under health care reform. A business with 50 or more employees that doesn’t provide health insurance will face fines of up to $2,000 per full-time worker (not including the first 30 workers) in 2014.
    Brett Parker, vice chairman and chief financial officer for Bowlmor Lanes, said his business, which has 238 full-time employees, probably will pay the $2,000-per-worker fine. Like Feinberg, Parker doesn’t think his company could afford the level of insurance that will be required under health care reform. Even if it could, his company could face a $3,000-per-worker fine if its employees can’t afford their share of the premiums and instead get government-subsidized coverage through the insurance exchanges. That’s a disincentive to provide insurance, Parker said. He’d rather live with a $2,000 fine than buy insurance and face the possibility of a $3,000 fine.
    The fines could add up to $460,000, which will hamper the company’s ability to expand beyond the six bowling alleys it now operates. Bowlmor Lanes will reduce its number of full-time workers in order to limit the fines, he said.
    “We can either continue to grow at a fast rate and create an enormous amount of jobs, or we can bear the cost of this health care bill and pay for all of this insurance,” Parker said. “But we cannot do both.”
    Randy Johnson, the Chamber’s senior vice president for employment issues, said the tax credits touted by Small Business Majority are “incredibly small.” They only apply to businesses with fewer than 25 workers with average wages of $50,000 or less. Plus, the tax credits will disappear in a few years. They’re “really more of a fig leaf than any help at all,” he said.
    The insurance exchanges “will be some help—we’re just going to have to see how they work out,” Johnson said.
    But the exchanges aren’t worth the added costs that other parts of the health care reform bill imposed on employers, he said.
    The idea that health care reform will help small businesses is “simply not the reality that we are hearing from our members,” Johnson said


    Read more: http://www.portfolio.com/business-ne...#ixzz1HKlH1JQC






    Read more: http://www.portfolio.com/business-ne...#ixzz1HKkxekq2
    MDRDEP:

    There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

  • #2
    WOW I can't believe it's been a year, Heck I'm willing to bet in the last year those who signed it stil haven't read it.
    MDRDEP:

    There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jcioccke View Post
      WOW I can't believe it's been a year, Heck I'm willing to bet in the last year those who signed it stil haven't read it.
      LOL.

      Those folks still don't believe they should have read it which is the saddest thing about it.

      And the waivers number more than 1000 now; most of which were given to supporters of the bill. I haven't quite figured that out yet.
      "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
      ______________________________________________

      "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
      ______________________________________________

      “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

      Comment

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