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Obama's signature on Affordable Care Act
It's the law.
A number of high profile conservative business owners have made a lot of news lately over their threats to cut back workers hours and even lay people off as a result of Mitt Romney's election loss, and the certainty that the Affordable Care Act is going to be implemented. For some, those pronouncements provided a strong enough backlash among customers that they've had to backtrack, attempting to end the bad publicity by not being terrible employers.

Those are the really high profile cases; the business owners who are obnoxious enough to publicly threaten their employees and to tell the world what rotten employers they are. Because of them, because of Fox News, because of a lack of good public education about the Affordable Care Act from the administration and supportive members of Congress, other business owners, especially small business owners, are left with the idea that maybe this Obamacare is just going to be too expensive and too burdensome. That's a big problem, especially for employees of small businesses. Because for those businesses there are some pretty good deals.

Follow me over the jump to see how businesses, small and big, will be affected by Obamacare, and why some of the loudest complainers are the most full of it.

Small business

The smallest employers are not only exempt from any potential fine for not providing insurance, if they do or want to provide insurance to employees, they can get tax credits to help do that. That's in effect now for companies with few than 25 employees and wages below $50,000 each. If they offer insurance and pay at least half the premiums, they can receive a tax credit of up to 35 percent of their contributions. After 2014, the tax credit goes up to 50 percent if the business buys coverage through the insurance exchange. Companies that have up to 50 employees and who do not provide health care benefits are not subject to any fines for not providing that coverage. Their employees will be able to get their coverage in the health exchanges the law creates starting in 2014.

Here's one of the greatest things for small business owners: they can afford health insurance for themselves! The Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed large and small businesses this fall for their regular Employer Health Benefits Survey. Their findings for small business owners were striking.

  • About one in four small business owners is uninsured, roughly the same as for non-elderly adults generally.
  • Just 40% of small business owners get job-based insurance, either from their own job or through a family member. In contrast, almost six in ten non-elderly adults get their insurance through an employer.
  • Small business owners rely heavily on the individual insurance market, with 30% of them buying “other private insurance” (the vast majority of which is coverage purchased in the individual market).

[...] In fact, an estimated 60% of small business owners now buying insurance in the individual market have incomes up to 400% of the poverty level and would be eligible for tax credits in exchanges or Medicaid, and 83% of owners who are now uninsured would be eligible for subsidized coverage (split about equally between tax credits and Medicaid).

These are the job creators, the folks conservative so laud. And they're struggling just as hard as anyone else to find good, affordable health insurance, with 30 percent of them (at least) paying a boatload of money to do it. Now they'll be able to afford health insurance. Maybe they'll even be able to expand their businesses, hire more people, and grow this economy for

Big business

For employers with 50 or more employees, well, yes, they'll have to decide whether they want to be good citizens, good employers, and ultimately save taxpayers and themselves money, and provide health insurance. These are the employers that will have to pay a penalty if they do not provide health insurance for their full time employees:

Part of a flow chart showing the responsibility of employers to provide health insurance to employees.
or don't pay a significant portion of their employees' coverage.
Part of a flow chart showing the responsibility of employers to provide health insurance to employees.
This is the penalty that the Obamacare haters are screaming about now, that they are threatening their employees over now. Even though these changes don't take place until 2014. Even though the penalties are not in place now. Even though it's pretty much only companies within the health care industry that face any additional tax burden (and indoor tanning salons, arguably not the most effective "sin" tax) and—here's the crux of the matter for these corporate opponents—wealthy individuals who will eventually be paying the tax bill for Obamacare.

Individuals making more than $200,000 a year will see a 0.9 percent increase in the Medicare payroll tax paid beginning next year. That same two percent of the population will be subject to a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income. Beginning in 2018, there's going to be a big tax hike on high-value health insurance plans, those above $10,200 for an individual plan and $27,500 for a family plan.

But let's get back to those penalties companies will have to pay beginning in 2014, and focus particularly on the businesses that have been most vocal about how the law is going to break them. At HealthBeatBlog.com, Maggie Mahar sums up analysis by other health care writers and economists on just what the costs might be for specific restaurant chains.

Managed Care Matters’ Joe Paduda recently took a hard look at the numbers that led Papa John Pizza founder and CEO John Schnatter to announce that he’s going to have to hike the price of his pizzas by 10 to 14 cents to cover the added cost of complying with Obamacare’s provisions.

“Turns out that it’s only 3.4 to 4.6 cents” for an average-sized pie,” Paduda observes.  “Let’s think about that,” he continues. “Fourteen cents a pizza gets all of his employees excellent health coverage (only about a third are covered now), even though Schnatter says he’d ‘like to cover all of them.’”

Over at Forbes, Caleb Malby eyeballed Schnatter’s balance sheet and confirms Paduda’s appraisal: Obmacare does not constitute a major threat to profit margins. “Last year, Papa John’s International captured $1.218 billion in revenue,” he reports. “Operating expenses were $1.131 billion.” Schnatter claims that Obamacare will his cost his company $5-8 million annually. “If Schnatter’s math is accurate,” Malby writes, “ the new regulation translates into a .4% to .7% (yes, fractions of a percent) expense increase.”

“Using Schnatter’s figures,” he concludes, “the costs his company will incur due to Obamacare are not equal to the price increases he mentions. Those increases would more than make up for damage done to the company’s net income through increases to operational expenses.”

Here's a thought for these companies: having healthy employees, who feel that their employer gives a shit about their well-being might just increase job satisfaction, and might just decrease absenteeism and employee turnover, increase productivity, and with all that, might just increase profits. It could happen.

So if your employer, particularly if your employer has 25 or fewer employees, is telling you that your hours have to be cut or your job is in jeopardy in 2013, they are likely very full of shit. Because their profits are not endangered now. They're not making smart business decisions. They're making vindictive political ones.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You really have to wonder (102+ / 0-)

    about a restaurant chain owner who makes a public show of announcing that he's trying to keep the people handling your food from having health care.  How did he think customers were going to respond to that?

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:06:30 AM PST

  •  Walmart Obamacare (16+ / 0-)

    Not in Graph, But how it rolls..

    Walmart, after all, was one of the partners behind the push for ObamaCare. In fact, as things started to drag in summer 2009, WalMart partnered with Center for American Progress and SEIU to try to nudge the process along. While the letter signed by the heads of all three organizations preaches of “shared responsibility,” it also talks of removing “the burden that is crushing America’s businesses” and an employer mandate that does not “create barriers to hiring entry level employees” (as workers forced into part time unskilled positions are sometimes facetiously called).

    Walmart gave ObamaCare a lot of credibility back in 2009. It was clear then what the payoff was going to be. And they’re cashing in now: by making the poverty wages they pay their employees the trick to get us to pay their employee health insurance, rather than the billionaire Waltons who can afford it.

    I guess that’s what Walmart believes constitutes “shared responsibility.”

    Great timing while POTUS seeks to deal away two years of Medicare...
    •  So tax wal mart more (22+ / 0-)

      and raise the minimum wage. don't force its employees to go without health care just to make some kind of a political point.

      No employer should have to be primarily responsible for health care, anyway. It makes absolutely no sense. Healthcare is a basic human right, and should be managed by the greater community, not some big box chain that sells cheap socks.

      •  Great point! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mdmslle, IndieGuy

        Not discussed enough. How would this play out?

        "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

        by rocksout on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:09:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  People in France pay for all of their healthcare (24+ / 0-)

          via a payroll tax of around 5%.  Why are we so stupid in this country?

          •  Just more venal perhaps? (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite, IndieGuy, ferg, Bensdad, ssgbryan

            "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

            by rocksout on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:22:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Because from 1920 through the 1950s (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BYw, ssgbryan

            when the rest of the world was putting these systems into place, "socialism" was as bad a word in the US as "terrorism" is today, and the John Birch Society and many others campaigned aggressively to label Social Security, Medicare, and any attempt at single payer as "socialist." And they still do, which is why we don't have single-payer even now.

          •  In France, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GayHillbilly

            the law is:  you must get 5 weeks vacaton a year.

            All Europeans have public health programs with better outcomes.  There are no PRIVATE universities in France because it’s unequal.  $200  a year in taxes go to the Univ. of Paris.  In Germany, a factory cannot leave a community.  Europe has ANTI-CAPITALIST PARTIES, their slogan:  We can do better than capitalism!

            France has an “asset tax” on the wealthy.  All assets are taxed (wealth tax – tax on everything you own) as well as on income.  —Paris magazine

            Things Republicans Believe

            Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

            The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

            Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.
            "Standing Tall for America" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

            A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

            Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

            The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

      •  Yep. Agreed. Medicare for all. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashoil, PeterHug, JerryNA, GayHillbilly

        Best not to get started on why that never happened....

        •  No, not medicare for all. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm certainly in favor of that too, but the exchange mechanism, expanded to all, could be a good start.

          •  Switzerland's health care system (3+ / 0-)

            uses something approximating exchanges.  Private insurance companies compete with each other for customers in each Canton.  The big difference is that all companies operating in the Cantons are required to provide a defined level of coverage; companies must be non-profit and are highly regulated by the federal government through an independent (i.e., non-political) health care board that has the ability to put out of business insurance companies that violate regulations.  The Swiss system is still more expensive than a single-payer system, costing about 2/3 of what the U.S. pays.

            I don't see how a for-profit insurance system in state-run exchanges with inconsistent regulations and no cost controls is going to approach even the cost savings of the Swiss system.  

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:52:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  With one exception, the 80% minimum loss ratio (0+ / 0-)

              I am no expert, believe me ... I am in favor of a national health care plan.  However, it seems like the 80% MLR has already led to rebates and changes in behavior to those insurance companies that want to participate in the health care insurance field, no?

              The only force that can overcome an idea and a faith is another and better idea and faith, positively and fearlessly upheld. Dorothy Thompson.

              by Intellectually Curious on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 01:34:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  You keep saying this (dealing away 2 years) but (7+ / 0-)

      it's not true, is it?  Then why say it?

      •  Read your Tea Leaves (7+ / 0-)

        David Dayen

        More from David Dayen

        Paul Krugman:

        First, raising the Medicare age is terrible policy. It would be terrible policy even if the Affordable Care Act were going to be there in full force for 65 and 66 year olds, because it would cost the public $2 for every dollar in federal funds saved. And in case you haven’t noticed, Republican governors are still fighting the ACA tooth and nail; if they block the Medicaid expansion, as some will, lower-income seniors will just be pitched into the abyss.

        Second, why on earth would Obama be selling Medicare away to raise top tax rates when he gets a big rate rise on January 1 just by doing nothing? And no, vague promises about closing loopholes won’t do it: a rate rise is the real deal, no questions, and should not be traded away for who knows what.

        So this looks crazy to me; it looks like a deal that makes no sense either substantively or in terms of the actual bargaining strength of the parties. And if it does happen, the disillusionment on the Democratic side would be huge. All that effort to reelect Obama, and the first thing he does is give away two years of Medicare? How’s that going to play in future attempts to get out the vote?

        Atrios  hosts a humorous discussion of our dialogue.

        One thing certain, remain silent and this will pass...

        •  Given the media's track record (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson

          I take all of this with whole shakers of salt

          Barack Obama for President '12

          by v2aggie2 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 01:32:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here's a Good Primer on Obama's Plan (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PeterHug

          Say it isn't So

          Raising Medicare's eligibility age from 65 to 67, which the new Joint Select Committee will likely consider this fall as a deficit-reduction measure, would not only fail to constrain health care costs across the economy; it would increase them.

          While this proposal would save the federal government money, it would do so by shifting costs to most of the 65- and 66-year-olds who would lose Medicare coverage, to employers that provide health coverage for their retirees, to Medicare beneficiaries, to younger people who buy insurance through the new health insurance exchanges, and to states.

          The principal study of the effects of raising the Medicare eligibility age, by the Kaiser Family Foundation, estimates that its increased state and private-sector costs would be twice as large as the net federal savings.  If the proposal were fully in effect in 2014, Kaiser estimates, it would generate $5.7 billion in net federal savings but $11.4 billion in higher health care costs to individuals, employers, and states.

          Man the phones to WH!
          •  This one's from 2011, not really relevant now. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Intellectually Curious

            Since then the balance of power's turned our way a bit, and predictions of doom have a pretty poor track record.

            We'll just have to see I guess.  I'll hope for no big changes, along with you & Krugman.  I really don't think Obama is plotting to screw us.  Though that doesn't mean I'll like everything he might agree to in negotiations with Republicans.  

            Personally I'm more concerned about Medicaid cuts than Medicare.  We'll survive anything that's likely to happen, but any benefit cuts are steps in the wrong direction.  Better to expand benefits, tax the rich more, tax wealth, etc.

            Currently I'm 62, seriously injured, broke, and very grateful for Romneycare (Obamacare jr.).  And my work is extremely physical.  So I'm watching all this very closely.

            May your fears or mine not materialize!

            •  Here is an Update! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Intellectually Curious

              How Obama may Use Obamacare to make Most Americans Worse Off

              Raising the Medicare age from 65 to 67 was a previously unthinkable policy, but the administration believes it is now more acceptable since most of those seniors could still technically get access to some form of insurance under the ACA. This logic depends on the ACA actually working as intended and all states expanding Medicaid, both of which are very big ifs as this point.

              Even if the ACA works as planned the issue is that increasing the Medicare age is still a truly horrible policy. Medicare is significantly more cost effective than private insurance. Being forced to remain on private insurance for an extra two years would make most people pay more for health care in those two years of their life.

              I retired at 62 and started Social Security early and Medicare at 65.  I am sure glad I did not have to look at these policies then.
    •  I think Walmart's motivation... (0+ / 0-)

      ...was primarily to get away from the negative publicity that they were getting for not covering their employees, when most of their competitors don't, either.

      Walmart won't be let entirely off the hook by Obamacare, because they'll either have to provide coverage or pay the employer fines that are built into the system.  But I think that's okay with them as long as Target, Sears, Kohl's, etc all have to do the same thing.  And, of course, no more bad publicity about health care coverage.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:47:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read Marcy? (6+ / 0-)

        Does not appear you read my link.  This One:

        The MaxTax offers this one, giant, out for corporations.

            A Medicaid-eligible individual can always choose to leave the employer’s coverage and enroll in Medicaid. In this circumstance, the employer is not required to pay a fee.

        In other words, the one way–just about the only way–a large employer can dodge responsibility for paying something for its employees is if its employees happen to qualify for Medicaid. Under MaxTax, Medicaid eligibility will be determined by one thing: whether a person makes less than 133% of the poverty rate. And who has the most control over how much a particular person makes? Their employer!

        So if Wal-Mart wanted to avoid paying anything for its employees under MaxTax, it could simply make sure that none of them made more than $14,403 a year (they’d have to do this by ensuring their employees worked fewer than 40 hours a week, since this works out to be slightly less than minimum wage). Or, a single mom with two kids could make $24,352–a whopping $11.71 an hour, working full time. That’s more than the average Wal-Mart employee made last year. So long as Wal-Mart made sure its employees applied for Medicaid (something it already does in states where its employees are eligible), it would pay nothing. Nada, zip. Nothing

        Marcy names names...
    •  But don't you know those descendents ... (0+ / 0-)

      have worked so very hard to earn the entitlements handed down to them (being facetious) sort of...but I'm sure the three walmart billionaires believe they deserve all of what they got and no one helped them do it. What the hey...they have the bucks to do or not whatever and it is up to our govt to keep them within bounds...and no one is above the law.

      Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

      by kalihikane on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:01:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know (13+ / 0-)

    why people just assume that businesses care about the following:

    Here's a thought for these companies: having healthy employees, who feel that their employer gives a shit about their well-being might just increase job satisfaction, and might just decrease absenteeism and employee turnover, increase productivity, and with all that, might just increase profits. It could happen.

    Businesses couldn't care less about employee satisfaction or turnover.  It's become an operating model to increase employee turnover to keep wages low--more money for the top employees that way.

    I'm hoping that HCA leads to the public option.  When businesses pay for insurance, they are incented to discriminate against older workers.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:13:19 AM PST

  •  The reality of the numbers, rather than (28+ / 0-)

    the myths and hyperbole will eventually quiet down most of the hyperventilating on the ACA.

    There is one issue that will continue to be a target - the new tax on unearned income (dividends and capital gains.) I think that new 3.8% tax has been the single biggest reason why the Koch brothers and their fellow travelers have been pushing for repeal of the ACA. It was never about "socialized medicine," but always about their bottom line.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:13:29 AM PST

  •  Health care has been a crime for small business (12+ / 0-)

    for some time.  The benefits tilt to big business, stacking the deck against the people most likely to innovate and add value -- and, Oh!!! Jobs.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:16:08 AM PST

  •  Facts, Joan? Facts? Come now. (7+ / 0-)

    Hyperbole is far more interesting. Seriously, good job.

  •  Single Payer Flow Chart (23+ / 0-)
    Are you insured?....    Yes
    How much money we waste monitoring and administering the convoluted workings of this system designed to keep the for-profit insurance companies happy...

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:18:58 AM PST

  •  A pizza guy who desn't want health coverage (4+ / 0-)

    for his employees, and at the same time wants to sell salt-mine/sugar-plantation pizzas to the public, is a pizza guy who needs to be driven out of town on the nearest rail --- first having been thoroughly tarred and feathered.

    I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

    by Liberal Panzer on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:22:26 AM PST

  •  Post election, GOP calls it ACA, not Obamacare! (13+ / 0-)

    I've been noticing that after the election, Fox and the other GOP shills are dropping the Obamacare name in favor the ACA. Seems they know it is going to be a popular law and they don't want history to reflect that it's Obama's legacy...

  •  So all the hype about Small Business Owners (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom, ER Doc, Eyesbright

    is just hot gas. Of course.
    And how long will it be before those SBOs catch on?
    Depends on how pervasive the propaganda stays.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:27:44 AM PST

    •  It also depends (5+ / 0-)

      on how effective the administration is on educating businesses about it.

      I think the prolonged legal battles and not knowing which way the SCOTUS was going to made the Obama administration take a step back from doing the necessary PR on it. There's a lot of catching up they need to do.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:32:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our small business struggles to provide insurance (20+ / 0-)

    My wife and I run her small business, 27 employees.  The cost is high and it is a struggle.  We have a few people with chronic conditions so our rates are high.  If there were a way we could buy health insurance as part of a larger group then just the 27 of us, we could  buy better coverage at a lower cost.  I wish the ACA would help us there because I don't know how much longer we can afford to offer health insurance at all.

    I would love to see a national single-payer plan covering the costs of catastrophic care.  We could buy supplemental plans for our employees and everyone would be better off.  But dream on.

    A new birth of freedom..

    by docterry on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:29:34 AM PST

    •  In 2014 (6+ / 0-)

      It sucks that you have to wait until then.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:35:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for providing insurance to your (15+ / 0-)

      employees. I just retired from a small nonprofit (13 employees) where our executive director made it a priority to make sure we had health insurance. He personally was covered under his wife's policy, but he always made sure the rest of the staff had insurance, even part time. And it was tough sometimes to get the budget to work. But people really appreciated it, especially when we knew other nonprofits that had dropped it as a cost-saving measure. He paid 85% of the premium (I think at the end it had dropped down to 80%).

      Friends don't let friends vote Republican.

      by OhioNatureMom on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:45:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The ACA should help you... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joan McCarter, ER Doc, efrenzy, jdld, Odysseus

      ...because, if I understand it right, you'll be able to buy group coverage through the exchange starting in 2014.  And if you have some employees with chronic conditions, I suspect that the rates through the exchange will be a real improvement against what you are now paying.

      For that matter, would helping your employees buy individual plans through the exchange be an option starting in 2014?

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:54:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the exchanges aren't a magic elixir (6+ / 0-)

        They're just a regulated amazon.com for buying health insurance.

        The exchanges are way oversold.

        Until medicaid or medicare is offered on the exchanges, they're just a small convenience. The main benefits of ACA are in the other provisions, like the preexisting conditions, the subsidies and the limit of 15% insurance overhead.

        •  There will be two (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OhioNatureMom

          federally-managed public options offered on the exchange.

          More details to be announced in January.

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 12:01:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That everyone will be able to buy insurance... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GayHillbilly

          ...without regard to preexisting condition is a very big deal, and considering that kicks in at the same time as the exchanges, I think it is reasonable to link the two.

          And since this commenter's company had employees with chronic conditions, that's going to make a huge, huge difference to their business.

          Don't sell short the rest of the benefits of the ACA simply because we didn't get the public option that most of us wanted.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 03:13:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That isn't quite right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, Brian B

            While insurance companies have to offer insurance to those with pre-existing conditions there is no guarantee that it will be affordable at all to those that would like to buy such policies.

            Many millions who can't afford insurance now still won't be able to under the ACA either due to the price tag being too high on the premium alone (the folks that won't get much of a subsidy and don't have enough disposable income available) or they won't be able to cover the high out of pocket expenses.

            So some will be able to actually purchase such a policies while others that would like to do so will be unable to buy them.

            The law isn't about "Affordable Care" at all as it does nothing to address the underlying costs of the medical services provided. It is about the ability to purchase health insurance, which isn't the same thing as the actual care, and whether that turns out to truly be affordable to those without insurance has yet to be seen.

            •  This is completely wrong (0+ / 0-)

              The ACA does not allow charging higher premiums to those with preexisting conditions.  AFAIK, the only price descrimination allowed is based on age (with a maximum 3:1 ratio in pricing for the older versus younger policy holders) and smoking status.

              And, again, you're missing the point of the original poster, who is paying for insurance now for a group that includes some members with chronic health issues.  In this particular instance, the result is very likely to be a substantial drop in premiums.

              Yes, I get that you dislike the ACA -- but please don't scare people by misrepresenting what it does.  Just because you don't want to admit that it won't help people doesn't change the fact that tens of millions will benefit when it fully kicks in.

              Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

              by TexasTom on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:07:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  What about mid-sized employers? (10+ / 0-)

    My company has about 300 employees. Our health insurance has a 5k deductible, 7k out of pocket. It's basically a catastrophic policy. We are in Minnesota and we aren't even allowed to use the Mayo clinic because it's too "fancy."

    We can't switch to another provider because they won't even bid on our business. Apparently our risk profile is bad (we have a very young employee population, but a small number of people with serious illnesses).

    Because the insurance is so bad, and Minnesota has so many larger employers that have better plans, fewer and fewer employees are using the insurance - they're using their spouse's plan.  That drives costs up even higher. If you're not married, though, you're stuck.

    The main political headwind against obamacare is going to come from people with shitty group policies like this - who often earn more, and have more political clout, than the lower income employees who will benefit initially.

    We need to allow direct buy-in to the exchanges for any company that wants it.

    •  I believe there is an exchange-type thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      decembersue

      for businesses to buy insurance and also I believe the insurance companies will no longer be able to up-rate based on your employees' health histories. I don't know if the law requires that any insurer that wants to play has to offer its coverage to every business that wants to buy it.

      I hear you, though, that if the government is going to penalize companies for not providing adequate and affordable coverage, the company has to have access to an adequate and affordable policy to offer.

      I believe that this type of glitch will eventually make single-payer the only sane option.

  •  graduated (0+ / 0-)

    I  think it would be easy to have graduated premium rates--based on a company's gross profits.  More money from the top 2% of corporations--because, they are really just like people.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:33:59 AM PST

  •  This is... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Esjaydee, von Dutch, mike101

    ..the part that gets me:

    ...because of a lack of good public education about the Affordable Care Act from the administration and supportive members of Congress...
    Unlike Democrats, when Republicans get their way, they spend every day for a year shoving it down everybody's throat.  

    If the ACA had been passed by a Republican president, an army of right wing public relations hacks would have immediately been dispatched to every nook & cranny in America, with direct orders to inform the country about what is contained in the ACA.

    Hence every household in America would currently possess extensive knowledge of what's is in the ACA.

    "You just gotta keep on livin man! L-I-V-I-N!" - Wooderson

    by wyvern on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:37:50 AM PST

    •  Not entirely... (0+ / 0-)

      ...as I recall, the Medicare drug coverage passed by Bush was initially unpopular, due to negative publicity about the way it was passed, the doughnut hole in the coverage, and about the complexity of the system of choosing between a large numbe of private plans.

      After it had been in effect for a couple years, and people got used to it's limitations and quirks, it became quite popular.  The same thing will happen with the ACA.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:57:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The crazy thing (19+ / 0-)

    Business would be best off under a single payer system.

    All businesses would be treated equally (level playing field) and they would have far more certainty in their business, and they would not have to continually negotiating with insurance companies.

    I just can't understand why business does not push for single payer.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:44:12 AM PST

    •  All businesses (5+ / 0-)

      except insurance companies, and some in the health care industry.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:21:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Additionally! (6+ / 0-)

      Right now, health care costs make hiring people less economically favorable than it would otherwise be.

      Under single payer, assuming it were funded by something other than a payroll tax, health care costs would become irrelevant to hiring decisions.

      So single payer would be a boost to employment. There would be no more, "I kind of want to hire ten more people, but the health insurance makes it not a good enough deal."

    •  also more competitive internationally (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, JerryNA

      Single payer also makes the cost of products lower, which makes exports more competitive internationally.

      Right now, health insurance is treated as an input cost.

      The plural of anecdote is not data.

      by Skipbidder on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:21:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The whole reason (0+ / 0-)

      big business wanted to start providing health care coverage in the first place was to enable them to reduce taxable wages.  If they supplanted wages with benefits, the corps pay less in taxes.

      It was a great deal for them, but they never envisioned the cost of health care skyrocketing the way it has.  However, they've still made out okay; they reduce benefits without restoring the wages.

      With single payer, big business would have to go back to paying good wages.  You would think that would just be easier for them.

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 12:07:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maximum penalty is $42K (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    for a firm that has 51 employees and doesn't offer health insurance, as opposed to about $127,500 in premium cost (assuming employer avg annual share of premium is $2,500 - don't know if this is accurate).

    All I hear on the right wing side is how employers are going to shed jobs, cut employees to part time, and that small employees would be crazy to expand and increase their employees above 50+.

    Personally, I was always for Universal Healthcare and I hate the idea of employers controlling my health care benefits.

    In the meantime, I read this Diary hoping it would go beyond just saying that Big Business shouldn't complain because they already make lots of profits and that most Small Business won't be impacted because they don't have 50+ employees.

    I don't think that a $42K penalty in 2014 is the death knell for a business with 51 employees, but I can see if they were not in a strong enough position to have already invested in a group health plan, that they would choose this over the more expensive option of providing a plan.

    I'd like to see comments addressing the most affordable options for businesses that don't provide benefits.  For instance, if a business could get its employees on a plan in the first year for a premium that was just 25% above the cost of paying the penalties.

    Maybe there are options that I am just unaware of.  Please someone comment and provide this information.  That is the best way to counter arguments from the right.

    •  It's the businesses with 26-50 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GayHillbilly

      employees that are sort of left hanging.  Below that, you can get the tax credits to provide coverage. Above 50, the law assumes you're large enough to be able to negotiate better group rates. For the 26-50 employee organizations, it'll be the exchanges for individual employees.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:20:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm interested in the 26 - 99 range (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        I think this is the area where I get beat up on by conservatives.

        For businesses with fewer than 100 employees, there was just a 43% participation rate in health care plans (BLS 2006 figures - ).  I believe that is just the participation rate for employers that offered plans.

        We need constructive solutions for businesses that fall into this group.  For employers under 50, to help them make the right choices when they are ready to expand.  For those over 50+, to help them choose benefits over penalties.

        Saying that the CEO of Papa Johns is a schmuck will only get us so far.

  •  What about the penalty for providing "Cadillac" (5+ / 0-)

    coverage?

    We won't be able to keep the excellent coverage we provide to our employees now. We won't be able to afford it.  

    We're not sure what we will be doing.  It depends upon what exchange is available in New Jersey, as Christie vetoed a bill to create a NJ exchange.  

    Suffice it to say, the coverage our employees will receive under the ACA will be markedly inferior to what they have now.  No one will be happy about that.  That's a fact.  

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

    by SpamNunn on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:47:53 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joan McCarter, lost

    So helpful; I suspect I'm going to refer back to it a lot in the coming months.

  •  Just imagine the great publicity (8+ / 0-)

    that John Schnatter could have generated by praising Obamacare rather than vilifying it: [Note: not a genuine quote.]

    Papa John's pizza is delighted with the ACA! Now we will be able to cover all our employees without incurring a competitive disadvantage, and the real cost for doing so is a mere nickel a pizza. This is a drop in the bucket when compared to all the other taxes, direct and indirect, that our business is subject to. It's just part of being good corporate citizens.

    Even so, I pledge to our customers that we will absorb this minor increase in costs and still deliver the best pizza in the country.

    What value would this announcement have in the marketplace? If Obamacare is the lemon that Schnatter thinks it is, why not make lemonade with it?

    Note to Boehner and McConnell: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." --Bob Dylan-- (-7.25, -6.21)

    by Tim DeLaney on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:54:40 AM PST

  •  Um, what am I not getting here? (0+ / 0-)

    The diary says, "Companies that have up to 50 employees and who do not provide health care benefits are not subject to any fines for not providing that coverage."

    The flow chart says nothing about company size, except that a company that does not offer health insurance with at least one employee who "receives a premium tax credit or cost sharing subsidy in an Exchange" must pay a penalty of $2,000 per year times the number of full-time employees minus 30.

    Looks to me as if a firm with 49 employees that doesn't offer insurance could very easily find itself on the hook for (49-30)x$2,000 = $38,000/yr in penalties--a pretty significant disconnect.

    Can I haz clarification pleez?

    It's not a "fiscal cliff," it's a Fiscal Bluff--so why don't we call them on it?

    by Uncle Cosmo on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:03:06 AM PST

    •  That's cuz (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      I messed up and put in one part of the flow chart twice, instead of the first part of the flow chart. My screw up which is now corrected.

      So the top part of the flow chart now shows correctly, up to 50 employees, no penalties.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:15:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The flow chart is specifically placed below the (0+ / 0-)

      reference to "Big Business" defined as companies with 50 or more employees. Companies with fewer employees are covered in the section above; the flow chart does not apply to them.

      -7.25, -6.26

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:26:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Newt Gingrich on MTP today,,, (7+ / 0-)

    is a laugh riot! What Gingrich said about Obama's "confrontation" over the so-called fiscal cliff is that if Obama continues in this confrontational attitude he will guarantee a "war" with Congress through the rrest of his term. WTF does Gingrich think happened through Obama's first term? When has it been any different? Republicans declared war on Obama before he was inaugurated.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:06:32 AM PST

  •  As an aside ... (3+ / 0-)

    ... I would like to suggest that ALL diaries from now on, instead of urging readers to click to read past the fold, urge us to follow the authors over the fiscal cliff.

    Just to remind us of the exaggeration of the danger.

    I don't mean in perpetuity. Just until we can build a bridge to nowhere from the fiscal cliff over the straits of insanity to our National Happy Place.

  •  Would not each restaurant be operated as a single (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dogs are fuzzy

    unit?  And therefore would have less than 30 employees? In the area where I live several McDonalds are owned by the same people, but I doubt they have 30 full time employees.  Of course these part time workers not having healthcare is part of the problem.  But at least the owners  will not have to pay a penalty.  

    •  It isn't full time employees that matters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Brian B

      It is full time equivalent employees that matter.

      Under the ACA you take the total hours worked by ALL employees (even part-time) and divide the total by 2080. This is the number of full-time equivalent workers you have.

      This is to prevent companies from converting all of their actual full-time workers to part-time to try to evade the law.

  •  Need tag/search help: recent rec diary (0+ / 0-)

    There was a diary recently where the diarist works at a smallish company and the owner is screwing them on insurance.  "health insurance" "Obamacare" and "insurance" aren't finding that diary and I've searched my recommended list, somehow I seem to have missed clicking the little star to promote that diary.

    Anyone recall that diary?  I'm particularly looking for the great comment threads (plural!) that gave advice of various sorts on how to look for alternative health insurance options, while waiting for Obamacare to kick in.

  •  Splendid analysis. While the GOP won't listen, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scarlet slipper

    ... most businesses probably will.

    Once we reach a threshold where an event, a law, a societal problem has moved forward and reached a point that requires some kind of accommodation, it has to be dealt with differently. Every business adjusts or suffers some kind of loss if it doesn't.[Legislators in secure districts may not ... but then, they don't operate heavy machinery. And it's probably High Principle rather than reason that drove them to their position in the first place. And keeps them there.]

    [Up front, let's be honest. Much as we would like to think reason drives us to reach pro-Progessive positions, I think in truth that we like the end result and then marshal our evidence. Yes, I believe the evidence, real world common sense, justice and equity (two different things!), the weight of reasoned analysis and a wise perspective for the future supports our views ... but do we really balance those things before we reach our position?]

    Business will adjust. The GOP? Probably not so much.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:27:10 AM PST

  •  I wonder if everyone who... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catfood

    wanted to make a statement would simply saunter into a Papa John's and politely place 14¢ on the counter and then leave.

    Hm.

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

    by unclebucky on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:27:56 AM PST

  •  a company (0+ / 0-)

    a family member works at plans to cut the entry level pool of workers to less than 30 hours so they dont have to pay insurance for them,

    what recourse do the workers have?

    "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being" -Abraham Lincoln

    by joojooluv on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:42:48 AM PST

    •  Find another place to work....or work for 30 hours (0+ / 0-)

      and no benefits...until the exchanges are up and running...Unfortunately.

    •  Buy through the exchange (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GayHillbilly, Odysseus

      and get a big subsidy from the Feds to cover the premium cost.

      In other words, it will become affordable to buy your own coverage, totally separate from your job -- more like buying car insurance, but subsidized -- and we won't have to play this game of trying to get and keep a job that comes with health insurance. And employers can pay attention to their business, and employees to their job, and health coverage isn't tied to that.

      I mean, we don't ask employers to buy your car insurance for you, so why health insurance? It's a historical artifact that has long since stopped making sense.

  •  Well done Joan! (0+ / 0-)

    A very informative piece here. There has been so much mis-information about the ACA, most people haven't a clue what it does, or what it means to them. I wish the media, and the Obama administration, would spend more time explaining the advantages that comes with the ACA.
    To villify something with lies and fear mongering leads one to believe that the true motive behind their lies would be one that wouldn't be palpable to the US citizenry. Just what is the motivation for "death panels" "govt takeover of healthcare"?
    "Its money that matters in the USA" Randy Newman.

  •  what about employers that already provide (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willa Rogers

    insurance to all or most of their employees? My employer's plans are changing dramatically. For one thing, they are changing the PPO/POS plans to what they call "consumer directed health plans" (CDHP). It looks as if the costs to the employees are going up significantly more than they have in the past, but its unclear how much of this is due to the ACA.

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:58:27 AM PST

    •  High deductibles are the new normal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego

      Everyone will soon be under a "consumer-directed" employer plan, just as those covered under the plans on the state-based exchanges.

      At the same time, HSAs and FSAs have been scaled back, and the threshold for deducting medical expenses raised. Get ready to pay a lot more out-of-pocket medical costs in the coming years.

      •  yes, that appears to be what's happening, (0+ / 0-)

        Some of my coworkers are blaming this on Obamacare, but I don't know how much of this change can be attributed to that. The new federal limits on FSAs (and maybe HSAs too, although I haven't used one before so I don't know) are certainly a factor, and my costs will go up because of that and the high deductible and out of pocket maximum.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 02:22:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  diseconomies of scale without social costs: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    La Gitane

    the healthcare mantra of large/small capitalists in a deregulated national environment  Easily solved by universal healthcare, politicized by crony capitalists, and bandaged by mandates

    Definition of 'Diseconomies Of Scale'
    An economic concept referring to a situation in which economies of scale no longer function for a firm. Rather than experiencing continued decreasing costs per increase in output, firms see an increase in marginal cost when output is increased.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:22:40 AM PST

    •  a glacial pace of progress needs national warming (4+ / 0-)
      Nationalized health insurance would reduce the cost of American-made consumer products. Employers naturally pass the soaring costs of providing employee health insurance on to consumers. The result? U.S. consumers pay more and the nation's ability to compete in global trade is reduced. Products from countries with nationalized health care simply cost less.
      Nationalized health insurance would be good for U.S. employees. The resulting reduction in cost of American-made goods would help U.S. companies compete in global trade, thus keeping more jobs at home. Workers would gain job mobility. Too many Americans stay in jobs they dislike, or hesitate to start their own businesses out of fear of losing their health insurance. Employer-provided health insurance tends to stifle innovation.

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:50:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I now work for a small company (<50 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Minnesota Deb, Eric Nelson

    employees. Prior to that, I was unemployed for about ten months, after being laid off from my 17-year job at a very large corporation (20,000+ employees).

    I have been quite fortunate in having health insurance over my working years. I had excellent coverage at the large corp with multiple plans to choose among and received a very generous severance package when I was laid off. Part of that package was my company picking up the majority of the cost of COBRA. I paid about $100 month to my former employer during the months I was unemployed and was able to continue all my coverages, including medical, dental, prescription.  I would have never been able to afford to pay the entire COBRA cost.  I had no idea that was part of the severance plan and it lessened considerably the strain of unemployment.

    My current small company also has very good insurance.  It's a bit more expensive and perhaps a bit less broad than my previous employer's plan, but comprehensive, nonetheless.  At least for the employee; once you add any dependents, it's completely out of reach.

    A month or so ago, we received notice that our 2013 premiums were going up.  In that same notice, we were told that our employer was very generously picking up the cost of the increased premium.  For me, the increase was about $60/month ($720 annually).  Amazing!

    I am well aware how lucky I am over these past 20 years to have such good coverage. But I'd still be way more than willing to pay 5% or so and have a single-payer system like France's, and I hope we're moving in that direction with Obamacare.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by scarlet slipper on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:34:17 AM PST

  •  Great information, but there is one bomb in (0+ / 0-)

    there: "Do any employees have to pay more than 9.5% of family income for employer coverage?".

    You have 51 employees earning from 35,000 to 50,000 per. That means that insurance costs to them must not exceed 3,325 (low end) to 4,750. If they want family coverage, using current prices and current rate of price inflation, the employer will have to be paying a shitload for insurance in the relatively near future. Right now, one neighbor is paying about 6K for mere single coverage and it is due to go up.

    Hence, when explaining this to others, be ready for at least some sporadic feedback based on this; right now said mythological employer would be on the hook for 51 times 1937.5 = 98,000 and can only get there by refusing anything but single coverage (no family plans).

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:13:54 AM PST

  •  As far as a negotiating strategy, (0+ / 0-)

    it might not be a good idea to threaten the use of the 14th Amendment right now. As long as the republicans think that might have a hostage in the future, they might be more amenable to make deals in the short term. I think it would be bad idea to take away that perception for the time being, don't you?

  •  I side with the complainers, for different reasons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minnesota Deb, jdld

    Businesses of any size shouldn't be in the business of providing health insurance. They should be in the business of selling food or making cars or doing literally anything other than spending even one second thinking about health insurance. That entire job should be outsourced to the government, an entity that has already shown incredible skill and efficiency at providing it.

    Businesses oppose providing health insurance to employees for purely selfish reasons, and I think beneath all the whining, there's a kernel of truth. In other countries, businesses can focus on what they do best (selling products and services to their customers), and people still receive healthcare, whether they're employed or not. Both sides win. In America, we have this bizarre idea that your boss is your dad, and it's up to your boss to give you health insurance. That's a broken model, especially if you ever want to leave your boss.

    Obamacare, at the very least, backs away from the employer based system a bit, but it doesn't go far enough. Let's hope that future improvements lean heavily on individual plans through the exchanges, and that the exchanges morph into a single payer or public utility model.

    •  And to be clear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jdld

      I think large businesses need to suck it up and accept that this is where we are. If big business wants to be free of the shackles of providing health insurance (and I agree with them that it's a burden they shouldn't have to carry), then they are welcome to join the rest of us who want to open Medicare to all Americans. It's a binary choice.

  •  I still don't get the details (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mumtaznepal

    Here's my situation: I work as an adjunct instructor, with the number of courses varying semester to semester. We are allowed to buy into the university health plan in any semester in which we teach at least two courses; at two courses you pay 1/2 the cost, at three you pay 1/4. But that's only for those 4 months. In January, June, July, and August you pay the full rate (about $520/mo single person, $1375 family). And in any semester when you teach zero or one, you can't buy in and can only get COBRA at the full amount. So if they look at the months when I'm earning pretty good money and the cost is only 1/4 of the total premium, it's "affordable." But on an annual basis, it's not. What many people do is just pay for it the months that they teach -- so you're constantly doing paperwork to get on and off, and you're insured only part of the year.

    To make it more complicated, it's not clear whether three courses is "FT" -- full-time people teach 7 over a year, so either 3 or 4 per semester.

    The university and the faculty union just negotiated a brand new 4-year contract, and health care costs were one of the sticking points -- and I don't think anyone was looking at the impact of the ACA.

    I am frankly hoping I can just ignore the employer and buy through the exchange, which seems much saner and would not vary month to month depending on my course load.

    I am a retired lawyer and good at reading fine print, and I can't figure this out. I can see why small and not-so-small businesses and ordinary people are massively confused. And the explanations don't really help until we see real numbers and real forms and real exchange options.

    •  that sounds horrible (0+ / 0-)

      So you have to hope that you get sick in the months that you're covered?

    •  One thing to be aware of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brian B

      Under the ACA, if your employer offers insurance and you don't take it you can still join an exchange, however, you are not eligible for any subsidy and subject to the penalty tax. If your employer offers anything at all that the ACA considers "affordable" effectively you must take it.

      The same is also true if you live in the same household as someone whose employer offers health insurance that covers the spouse or the family. If the employee takes that insurance but the other household members opt to join an exchange none of them receive a subsidy and all of them are subject to the penalty tax.

  •  So what this is telling me is (0+ / 0-)

    Up until 2013 my company paid my health care premiums, that is nothing came out of my paycheck.  Starting in 2013, 1% of my paycheck is going to pay for the premiums.  It seems then that in 2014, my company could just go up to 9.4% of my pay then, since that's right below the threshold.

    Either way, I'm getting a pay cut starting January 1, 2013.  

  •  Why does Obama need 4 strokes to make an "O"??? (0+ / 0-)

    The "O" in Obama sure looks like it was created with 4 different strokes.  Most people use 1 stroke to shape an "O".

    "Nothing preserves Democracy better than the stupidity of its opponents" - KO

    by buckshot face on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 03:51:48 PM PST

  •  GET MY EMPLOYER OUT OF MY HEALTH CARE!! (0+ / 0-)

    This article makes it very clear, employers should have nothing to do with whether, when, who or how I get health care.

    Instead of it being part of my wage compensation, make it a payroll tax or income tax.

    End job lock and give our Labor force the freedom to move from job to job, cut hours, take a leave or retire early!!

    Let Single Payer try on the glass slipper too!

    by seastar on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:06:57 PM PST

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