Small Business reactions
Small businesses around the nation are learning about the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and reactions are heated and mixed. With over six million small businesses in America that employ over 54 million people, a large portion of which is not insured.
Under the new Affordable Care Act, small businesses with less than 25 employees will get government assistance in helping to pay insurance costs for employees. Employers qualify if they provide health care to employees and provide average annual wages below $50,000. Assistance will increase from 35 percent presently to 50 percent in 2014 when the Act goes into effect.
Current and future laws
Currently, young adults may stay on their parents’ health plan up to age 26, and insurance companies can’t deny health coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Adults who have been uninsured for at least six months and have been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition may now get coverage, and insurance companies may no longer place dollar limits on the health care they cover in a lifetime. Medicare users can get free preventive services and screenings, which new health plans must offer for free as well.
In 2014, when the Act becomes law, insurance companies may no longer deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition and Americans will be required to purchase health insurance if they do not already have it through their employer. Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to place dollar limits on the care they cover in a single year.
The objections to the Act
One commonly rejected portion of the Act that is garnering rising attention is the requirement that small businesses with over 50 employees must provide health insurance or pay a penalty, but various reports cite confusing conditions that apply, and note that the average business person is lost as to how to stay in compliance, as much of the law is unresolved.
Both sides of the aisle have used small businesses as the poster children for their cause, attempting to champion health care for small businesses, but despite all of the media attention, there remains a great deal of confusion on the ground.
To illustrate each position, below are short videos outlining support and opposition to the new laws.