The combination of the federal government shutdown along with the roll out of ObamaCare is a once in a lifetime event – sort of like a Lunar Eclipse or Haley’s comet. It is more like the time that I had hemorrhoids!
I saw an interview on TV the other day where a journalist was randomly interviewing regular citizens about their opinion on ObamaCare. Universally, everyone immensely disliked ObamaCare. On the other hand, when asked about the Affordable Care Act (the same thing as ObamaCare but the official name), all of the same people who disliked ObamaCare unanimously endorsed the Affordable Care Act. I was even surprised that some of the people being interviewed were familiar with some of the better known provisions such as guaranteed insurability and dependent coverage until age 26.
The point is that the people were talking about the same thing but weren’t even aware of it. Could ObamaCare be a situation where the Messenger was killed right out of the starting blocks? Time will tell!
ObamaCare is the law of the land but not if the Republicans have anything to say about. The House Republicans have tried forty different times to repeal or defund ObamaCare and now have shut down the federal government over a health insurance program. The reality might be that the cure may be a better situation for the small business owner and the employees than previously thought.
Group health insurance seems to become an entitlement of employment right after World War II. Anywhere else in the World, most people are covered by national healthcare and if you are rich, you probably have some private health insurance on top of that coverage. Regardless of any of the arguments about the Canadians coming to the U.S. for medical treatment, we are stuck with Obamacare for now and It may not be that bad for the business owner as previously thought.
The reality is that most business owners never wanted to be in the health insurance business. First, how about employees complaining about claims not being paid and creditors calling as a result. How about healthcare being the second biggest cost after payroll increasing by 15-30 percent per year. In a certain respect, a business owner should be happy to be getting rid of group health insurance.
The solution to the problem is to drop group health insurance altogether and allow the employees to get on the state or federal exchange. An employee can qualify for subsidies if the employee meets two conditions:
First, “household income” has to be less than 400% of the federal poverty level, or “FPL.” For 2013, the FPL is $23,550 for a family of four, which means subsidies are available for incomes up to $94,200. “Household income” includes income from you, your spouse, and any dependents. This income range would seem to cover may employees within a small business.