Is ObamaCare Bad for Business?
On March 23rd, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into legislation the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Since then, the new bill, nicknamed “ObamaCare,” has sparked heated controversy all across the country between Democrats and Republicans, each side fiercely tearing at each other with facts and statistics. I was curious as to what all the hoopla was about, so I decided to look into ObamaCare, and find out what I could about the 2,000-page mandate. I decided to discuss ObamaCare with my step mom, who owns a health clinic in Oregon. Getting a small business owner's point of view on ObamaCare seemed a smart way to get a more objective understanding of how the public was reacting, aside from any political squabble that tends to drown out the issue at hand. While talking with her, she explained how she was forced to shut down her clinic because of ObamaCare. That moment narrowed the focus of my research into one crucial question: Is ObamaCare good or bad for small businesses in America? This is a question that is very complex, as the answer can be a yes, no, or in-between. Democrats support the mandate, while Republicans reject it. Hence the controversy surrounding the bill.
To further my understanding, I went online and tried filtering through the immense plethora of information on ObamaCare. My next step would be to get a general understanding of what the bill is, and how it works. From what I could gather, ObamaCare is basically a mandate that requires all Americans to have health insurance by 2015, or else suffer a hefty penalty that will increase with each year.
The main focus of the mandate is towards individuals and small businesses whom cannot afford health insurance. According to Karen Pollitz at abcnews.com, ObamaCare is “a law enacted to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health insurance. It does this by offering consumers discounts (known as tax credits) on government-sponsored health insurance plans, and by expanding the Medicaid assistance program to include more people who don't have it in their budgets to pay for health care.” To get back to the question at hand, is ObamaCare good for small businesses? Democrats really seem to believe so.
As was said before, Democrats support the mandate, and claim that ObamaCare has helped improve the economy since the law was signed. Not only that, but the mandate has cut healthcare costs. According to obamacarefacts.com, when asked about ObamaCare hurting small businesses, the response was addressed as “The unbiased truth on ObamaCare and Small Business.” The response stated that ObamaCare helps most small businesses, not hurts them.
The response goes on to address how small business owners have had a harder time providing insurance to their employees through history as a result of rising insurance costs. All the while larger businesses remain largely unaffected. The website also states that “today, almost half of America's uninsured are small business owners, employees, or their dependents.” Small businesses can also apply for a tax credit to help with insurance costs by using ObamaCare, for up to 35% of costs for 2 years, depending on the circumstances.
To restate what was said earlier about what ObamaCare basically is, the mandate includes a certain clause that says that businesses that refuse to offer insurance coverage to employees and individuals who do not have insurance by the end of 2014 will be forced to pay a heavy penalty, about $2-3,000 per uninsured employee. The rates increase each year as well, which should deter large businesses from dropping employees or cutting back everyone's hours to part-time, to make sure employees get the benefits they deserve.
Here comes the messy part: the political backlash of Republicans refuting the so-called “facts.” Republicans are dead set on their opinion that ObamaCare is bad for small businesses, not good. To begin refuting the Democrats'...
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