Friday, October 11, 2013

Obamacare is good for small business

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

click to enlarge MOST EXEMPT: Most U.S. businesses are too small to be covered by the Obamacare insurance mandate.
  • MOST EXEMPT: Most U.S. businesses are too small to be covered by the Obamacare insurance mandate.
You read that headline right, though it's a polar opposite assertion from that intoned relentlessly by teabaggers, Kochs and Republican spear carriers, anybody named Hutchinson and the Club for Greed's marching and chowder society, the National Federation of Independent Business.

Here are the lucid facts, as expressed in a short and simple piece in the New Yorker by James Surowiecki.

Read it. Give it to Nate Bell, the Meeks boys and folks like that. I know. Pointless. But you'll feel better knowing you've handed somebody facts versus blind faith.

The article notes:

Most businesses, because they are small, are exempt from employer insurance mandates in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Most of the big businesses that are required to offer insurance or pay a penalty already do so. A relatively small number of businesses fall in a gap that will feel a pinch. Sorry for them, but it's not enough to harm the overall economy.

Benefits of Obamacare are enormous. It's easier to start a small business when you don't have to worry about health care. And the ready availability of health care in the new exchanges prevents people from being locked into bad jobs simply to hang onto coverage. The system currently works as a disincentive to entrepreneurs. Freed from "job lock," more people will go out on their own and start new businesses. THAT is good for the economy.

The unpredictability of rates (one really sick employee can screw a small business with a group policy) discourages small businesses from offering insurance.

Obamacare changes all this. It provides tax credits to smaller businesses that want to insure their employees. And it requires “community rating” for small businesses, just as it does for individuals, sharply restricting insurers’ ability to charge a company more because it has employees with higher health costs. And small-business exchanges will in effect allow companies to pool their risks to get better rates. “You’re really taking the benefits that big companies enjoy, and letting small businesses tap into that,” Arensmeyer said. This may lower costs, and it will insure that small businesses can hire the best person for a job rather than worry about health issues.

The U.S., against the world, has a relatively small number of small businesses and self-employed people. Removing health care from the equation would undoubtedly spur more of them. Small businesses should cheer Obamacare, not curse it. Remember that the curses are being encouraged by the wealthy, who — yes — are being asked to pay a bit more in taxes for the common good of a healthier.

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