Small Businesses Are Still Burdened By Obamacare, Even With A Delay Business Owner: “The law has to be repealed or substantially changed”
Yesterday, White House press secretary Jay Carney saidduring his daily press briefing that those who suggested delaying the Obamacare employer mandate was unusual were "willfully ignorant about past precedent." He also said, "It's just not — it's not serious." Maybe so many Americans think it’s unusual because there have been so many delays.
Last week’s decision follows an earlier decision to delay the implementation of the employee choice options under the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOPs). Small employers wouldn’t be able to select a variety of insurance options through federal exchanges, but would be limited to offering a single plan for their employees, severely limiting the breadth of choice that was originally envisioned.No choice means no competition, which could lead to increased premium costs. And last month, a GAO report, commissioned by Small Business Committee Chairman Graves stated the SHOP programs’ implementation delays and missed deadlines show potential for “implementation challenges going forward.”
Small firms have consistently said the health care law’s mandates, requirements, costs and confusion would prevent them from hiring and expanding, and although the delay may provide short-term relief, the looming implementation still freezes small businesses and keeps them on the sidelines. This is what a few small businesses told us through our interactive website, Small Biz Open Mic, about how the employer mandate year delay affected their business:
The delay in the mandate is only that, a delay. We have received a quote from our insurance provider for our 1/1/14 renewal. It is a 55% increase in premium. We currently provide healthcare insurance to all employees, however, we simply cannot afford a 55% increase in premium. This is a major issue for our business and our employees. The law has to be repealed or substantially changed.
Tom Fotsch (Hartland, WI) EmbedTek LLC, July 9, 2013
The health care bill was flawed from the get go. Any time someone says let's get it passed then find out what is in it, there is something inherently wrong. Legislation should be clear and understandable. We are forced into this requirement as a good base workforce is in excess of the 50 employees. We have struggled for going on 3 years now just barely making it.
Werner Hoyt (Vallejo, CA) Mare Island Ship Yard LLC, July 10, 2013
We have a small sub-contracting company in the commercial construction industry. With the ACA being forced on us we are forced to compete against large companies with much deeper pockets than ours. For the government to consider 50 employees a large company is just ridiculous. We have offered insurance to all our employees in the past and due to the insurance company's participation rules we were forced to do a carve-out to allow our management staff affordable health. Most of the young men and women that work for us do not want insurance or they cannot afford it.
Howie Schommer (Colorado Springs, CO) Schommer Construction LLC, July 9, 2013
We are a small manufacturing business in upstate NY. Historically we employ 65 people in season and 45 off-season. We have reduced our hiring so we can keep the headcount under 50. This has been a burden on our business plan. We need to grow to stay competitive and yet when we grow the consequences of the ACA will financially harm us. We offer health care options to all full time employees (40 hours per week). The ACA will require us to offer benefits to all 30 hour employees as well as all seasonal employees. Our season is 8-9 months. The reduced headcount limits our manufacturing potential and consequently our sales. The 15-20 seasonal workers we usually hire are displaced or underemployed. If the ACA would increase the maximum headcount to a more reasonable number (e.g. 100 or 250) small businesses could grow again. The ACA is another government unfunded mandate that is stifling small business growth.
Recognizing the importance of entrepreneurs’ feedback in the process of shaping the very policies that will help determine their business sustainability and growth, Chairman Graves launched Small Biz Open Mic in September of 2011.