Video: Will ObamaCare drive businesses out of providing health insurance?

posted at 2:10 pm on March 24, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

In a word, yes, and that’s not just me talking. Last night, CBS did a perspective on how ObamaCare’s mandates and tax incentives will impact small businesses, which Democrats insist will see benefits from the ObamaCare largesse. The only problem is that the system actually incentivizes businesses to pay penalties and throw their employees into the government-run exchanges:


Watch CBS News Videos Online

• Businesses with fewer than 25 employees that pay an average of no more than $40,000 will get a tax credit – up to 35 percent of the company’s share of their total health care premium.

• Companies with 26-49 workers are unaffected.

• Businesses with 50 or more workers must offer coverage or pay $750 per worker. That penalty applies for every employee if even one signs up for government-subsidized insurance.

But there are potential problems. Case in point: It would be much cheaper for Dick Bus to drop the generous coverage he now offers and take the hit at $750 a head for his 120 workers. The penalty would be $90,000 a year. He’s currently spending $480,000.

Bus would save $390,000, but canceling his plan would force his workers to the health plan exchange and could cost more than they’re paying now. The Senate is considering an increase in the $750 penalty to prevent that scenario.

Bus insists that he won’t cut his employees loose, which is certainly noble, but unrealistic. If his competitors do it and lower their costs, allowing them to lower prices on their products and services, Bus will have to follow suit or go out of business. Small businesses already operate on tight margins, and this will be an easy business decision for those companies, at least when their CEO isn’t on camera.

In an otherwise good and balanced report, CBS misses another strange incentive. As listed above, small businesses only become eligible for the credits if their average salary remains below $40,000. That means a decision to give raises not only carries the cost of the raise itself to the business, but also a potential loss of that 35% subsidy ObamaCare grants. This will have the overall effect of suppressing salaries and putting experienced workers at a disadvantage in hiring decisions. It also provides an incentive to keep the workforce under 26 people; the 26th hire eliminates that 35% subsidy as well, making it a very expensive new position.

ObamaCare sets all of its incentives to oppose growth. Can anyone wonder at the impact this will have on the economy?

Update: One other anti-growth incentive, as Mark the Great points out in the comments: businesses with 50-60 workers have a big incentive now to downsize.


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upinak on March 24, 2010 at 2:29 PM

That’s how I work now. Thank heaven we’ve all been healthy. We’ve been able to pay all our medical expenses out of pocket. I don’t want health insurance.

AubieJon on March 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

WTH?
Are you a true capitalist after all?
Part-time employees, as far as I’m aware are not required to receive ins benefits.
Which is why many business that have high worker turnovers employ part time.
And of course they have a crappy work atmosphere w/ many disgruntled & unproductive employees.
My daughter left a company bcs of that.
Jimbo, just when I think there are times you can make some sense, you really confound things, by Golly!

Badger40 on March 24, 2010 at 2:31 PM

-Badger, I’m 99% sure that this company is only giving insurance to its full time employees. I agree that most companies don’t give part timers benefits.

P.S. I remember something by Ed or AP here a few weeks ago about one of the bills counting part timers as full-time-equivalents for purpose of the 50 employee test. I’m not sure if that’s the original Senate bill or the reconcilation bill, but that’s an angle to think about.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

So what’s Barry going to say when unemployment benefits run out?
GarandFan on March 24, 2010 at 2:33 PM

HUH? What do you mean run out? It’s 99 weeks and counting these days for benefits. And when 99 weeks is up, don’t worry mon. They will extend it another 25 weeks.

UI benefits: welfare with a nice sounding name.

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

fascinating back of the napkin analysis. I’d say we should have had these stories BEFORE the law was passed but of course no one was allowed to read the bill.

mperek on March 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Seven Percent Solution on March 24, 2010 at 2:32 PM

You had better duck and cover, ol’ buddy.

kingsjester on March 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Healthcare repeals filed in Congress
God Bless Steve King.

OmahaConservative on March 24, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Truly I wish we had a Congress full of Steve Kings.

Notice how, in that article you linked, the figure of $938 billion for this bill is again brought up. I detest how our supposedly free-to-criticize “free press” simply reports that profoundly, profoundly bogus number as if it were the unquestionable gospel truth.

Edouard on March 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

I remember poor. I didn’t like it. I am not looking forward to going there again. I guess working in the mean, nasty oil and gas industry is probably not safe as well.

TXMomof3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

ObamaCare sets all of its incentives to oppose growth.

That’s the entire point. More misery means more people on the government dole, mean more people voting Democrat.

We’re done. Welcome to the USSA.

crazy_legs on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

2. Get a 1099 and pay your own taxes, healthcare and so forth, while they can pay you as a contractor.

Watch.. it will happen.

upinak on March 24, 2010 at 2:29 PM

There are certain laws which regulate whom you can pay with a 1099…

Consequences of Treating an Employee as an Independent Contractor
If you classify an employee as an independent contractor and you have no reasonable basis for doing so, you may be held liable for employment taxes for that worker (the relief provisions, discussed below, will not apply). See Internal Revenue Code section 3509 for more information.

So, I doubt that could happen as much as you think.

MississippiMom on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Jesus dude, do you have even the slightest clue how business works?

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:30 PM

He’s a lawyer.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

milwife88 on March 24, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Jill says her daughter, a pro-life advocate, was given a pass, put in a taxi and sent off to have an abortion during school hours all without her family knowing.

Why on earth did she go through with it????

OmahaConservative on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Gee, they wouldn’t have wanted it to work out that way, would they?

(Ask Dennis Kocinich)

stenwin77 on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

milwife88 on March 24, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Depends on if the father is one of the kids teachers I suppose.

PappaMac on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

It’s a socialist twofer: destroy small business & implement socialized medicine. We’ll all have shitty government health care…and those great government jobs aren’t going to be all that when we all work for the government.

DCJeff on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Reality has hit my little girl hard.

Badger40 on March 24, 2010 at 2:34 PM

There’s nothing like a life lesson…

ladyingray on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Jesus dude, do you have even the slightest clue how business works?

Of course he does.

1. Grow government, expand costs, tax the sh*t out of the private sector, “spread the wealth around”

2. ???

3. PROFIT!

Good Lt on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

It’ll be OK. They can buy Manhattan with it.
jwolf on March 24, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Oh no they won’t, I’ll force them to buy necessities from my company store at inflated prices.

Bishop on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

–There’s nothing now that prevents Bus from cancelling their insurance and saving the whole $480,000 other than competitive pressure from other potential employers.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:17 PM
Your being ignorant. As usual, but then you wouldn’t expect a lawyer to understand how the real world works.

In the current situation, there is no public plan to dump those workers on.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:21 PM

–There actually are public plans in most states (they’re high risk pools). But the premiums in those plans are 2 times or more higher than the normal insurance premiums for individuals.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

You do ok what? Living off the government? Selling drugs? What?

PappaMac on March 24, 2010 at 2:30 PM

That’s rich coming from someone with a ‘Pimp’ sounding Username.

robertnyc212 on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

He’s a lawyer.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

So he claims…

ladyingray on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Well, we shall all be independant contractors, I guess.

Chewy the Lab on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

A non-event in the long run.

robertnyc212 on March 24, 2010 at 2:15 PM

How can it be a non-event when the lives of 270 million people are interupted and imposed on to cater to the 30 million uninsured people?

fourdeucer on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Even more of an incentive to send jobs overseas.

exhelodrvr on March 24, 2010 at 2:29 PM

I was thinking the same thing… Obamacare incentivizes outsourcing.

BPD on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Right now, neither side has to pay those taxes on health insurance benefits.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:32 PM

“RIGHT NOW” that provision to tax is in this bill…as time goes on, private insurance will be taxed, but government won’t.

right2bright on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Short-term thinking. Most successful businesspeople are smart enough to think through this, and avoid losing significant percentages of their labor pool by such a stupid decision.

cs89 on March 24, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Keep in mind the liberal mindset that says all employers want nothing more than to screw over the employees. In fact, that’s why most businesses are started…to abuse and enslave others.

Hell, I’ve started 16 companies over the years and screwed literally thousands of people. It’s in my mission statement.

BobMbx on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Wow. Nothing else to add but wow.

strictnein on March 24, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Not a bad idea. But what about taxes? The employees and employer would have to pay payroll and income taxes on the amounts paid or received in cash. Right now, neither side has to pay those taxes on health insurance benefits.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Yes those taxes come into play, but my point, I believe, is made.

If the government creates artifically low premiums for people, and it will for people with incomes under 4x the poverty rate (which is a majority of employees at my company of 100 employees), it is very plausible that a company can create a package that benefits the employee and employer at the expense of the taxpayer…ergo the whole nation.

I am sure our kids and grandkids will enjoy what we have done on Sunday.

WashJeff on March 24, 2010 at 2:38 PM

But the premiums in those plans are 2 times or more higher than the normal insurance premiums for individuals.

So then…the private system worked better and had lower prices than the public plan.

As we said, ObamaCare undoes this and makes life MORE EXPENSIVE for everybody.

Good Lt on March 24, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Reality has hit my little girl hard.

Badger40 on March 24, 2010 at 2:34 PM

My wife bought the long term disability insurance with her company. It kicked in after two weeks.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:39 PM

robertnyc212 on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Actually, blow-hole, my kids, call me that. Now, answer my question, or STFU.

PappaMac on March 24, 2010 at 2:39 PM

The same argument was made when the Family and Medical Leave Act was passed seven years ago. It also covers businesess with 50 or more employees and provides for unpaid time off for employee and family health problems. Guess what? The world didn’t end.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:25 PM
Ugh. The family leave act is pennies on the dollar compared to ObamaCare. Family Leave allows 12 weeks of ****UNPAID**** leave. All it does is guarantee the person taking the leave will not get fired. It doesn’t cost the employer all that much.

Now compare that to a fine of $2000 per employee per year.

Jesus dude, do you have even the slightest clue how business works?

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:30 PM

–I do. Employers generally pay $1000+ a month (before employee contributions) for health insurance for a family of four. Compare that to $2000 per employee a year.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

So, I doubt that could happen as much as you think.

MississippiMom on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Anyone who can get a freaking business licence can be a contractor. FYI for you.

Also, it WILL happen. As it already started a little over a year ago…. research it if you don’t believe me.

upinak on March 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

How will this affect companies which self insure? My wife’s employer doesn’t offer insurance from a provider, it just pays the bills outright when a claim is submitted.

Bishop on March 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

The act only covered people having children. ObamaCare covers 100% of employees.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

No it covers more than that. It covers adoption of a child, and it also covers taking time off to help with sick family members (immediate only, I believe). or if the employee is sick. And not only that, a person has a year to use their leave and they don’t have to take it all at once. They can take it a half a day a week to help with chemo treatments, etc.

Many employers require a person to take any and all PTO that they have during this period.

ladyingray on March 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Geez, at this rate we may get to single payer a lot quicker than that 15-year window candidate Obama was predicting.

If the Dems keep up this sort of nonsense, I may have to concede this is Cloward-Piven after all. I still can’t quite bring myself to believe this is deliberate(well, not all of it anyway).

Doughboy on March 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Why on earth did she go through with it????

OmahaConservative on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Good question. Kind of makes you wonder if she wasn’t talked into it by a pro choice school nurse. “Authority figures” in schools have so much influence on kids now it is amazing what they can get kids to do or say.

milwife88 on March 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

He’s a lawyer.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Trust me, he ain’t no attorney…at best (and I doubt it) paralegal, but more then likely he took a semester of law.

right2bright on March 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

The answer is almost certainly yes. Companies pay roughly $1300-$2000+ (depending on location and a bunch of other things) yearly for health care insurance for a family of four. That would be reduced by the employee contribution for insurance.
That shouldn’t be yearly. It should be monthly.
Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:20 PM.

8k a year on average is paid by an employer.

The Kaiser study showed premiums paid by employers increased an average of 9.2% in 2005, less than the 11.2% rise in 2004, and the lowest since 2000, when they rose 8.2%.

This year, the average annual premium for family coverage hit $10,880, with employers paying an average of 74% of that cost and workers paying the rest. Workers this year paid on average $2,713 toward family coverage, or $1,094 more than they paid five years ago, the survey found.

batterup on March 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Does anyone remember what Hillary Clinton said when people objected to the impact of Hillarycare on small businesses?

“I can’t go out and save every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America.”

So Obama will take on that responsibility, as long as those small businesses remain very small.

tom on March 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Well, we shall all be independant contractors, I guess.

Chewy the Lab on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Actually that may be one of the better unintended consequences of this nightmare. I’m serious.

Being independent is a pretty good deal. A lot better tax wise as you can deduct all sorts of things.

Yeah yeah but there is no job security. Whatevahs. There is no job security anywhere. Everyone is an independent contractor one way or another. The only difference is the type of year end tax receipts you get (w2 or 1099).

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM

–There actually are public plans in most states (they’re high risk pools). But the premiums in those plans are 2 times or more higher than the normal insurance premiums for individuals.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Are you a good driver, Jimmy? If so, do you enjoy lower auto insurance rates? How happy would you be if you suddenly had to pay higher rates because the government prohibits insurance companies from segregating high and low risk drivers into their own pools? If you’re the guy in the high risk pool, it’s a godsend, and would have your full support, wouldn’t it?

And be honest.

BobMbx on March 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM

There actually are public plans in most states (they’re high risk pools). But the premiums in those plans are 2 times or more higher than the normal insurance premiums for individuals.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Ok.
And so Obamacare is good how?

Badger40 on March 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM

This is all by design.

capitalist piglet on March 24, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Of course, and arguing about the bill is silly. This was never about health care. Nothing the communist democrats ever do is about what they say.

People had health care. Now they’ll get a chance to see what crappy health care looks like. The communists want us all to have the same crappy health care.

A drug addict off the street could go virtually anywhere and receive the best health care. Now he’s gonna have to make an appointment. Hahahahahahahaha

darwin on March 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Will ObamaCare drive businesses out of providing health insurance?

That’s the idea. Either that or they will become health care equivalents of General Motors Government Motors

MB4 on March 24, 2010 at 2:42 PM

I truly think that B. Hussein O’s plan is to totally collapse our economy, then we get hit by a bomb or some other terrorist attack from his friends in the M.E.

DONE – America GONE.

stenwin77 on March 24, 2010 at 2:42 PM

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM

there are pro’s and con’s with everything. Being a private contractor can be awesome (I loved it when I was) and it can be a pain. It depends on what you do.

upinak on March 24, 2010 at 2:42 PM

PappaMac on March 24, 2010 at 2:39 PM

I doubt it would even matter to you big daddy, er sorry, pappamac.

robertnyc212 on March 24, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Edouard on March 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Yep, I noticed that.
I went across the Missouri to Council Bluffs IA to campaign for King. Wore out a brand new pair of walking shoes doing so and it was well worth it.

OmahaConservative on March 24, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Will ObamaCare drive businesses out of providing health insurance?

That is after all, the goal.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Actually, getting employers out of providing health insurance to their employees would be good.
The problem is that Obama wants to get insurance companies out of the business of selling insurance.

Count to 10 on March 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM

–I do. Employers generally pay $1000+ a month (before employee contributions) for health insurance for a family of four. Compare that to $2000 per employee a year.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Jimmie,

You compared the cost of Family Leave act to the cost Obamacare. Which means you have no idea what you’re talking about. Just admit it.

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM

–There actually are public plans in most states (they’re high risk pools). But the premiums in those plans are 2 times or more higher than the normal insurance premiums for individuals.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

So there is no difference between ObamaCare and what those employees could have gotten from these existing public plans?

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Hey…!

I have a great idea, everybody!

… Let’s elect Barack Hussein Obowma as President of the United States!

What do you say?

Seven Percent Solution on March 24, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Seven Percent Solution: Ah…umm..ah…:)

canopfor on March 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM

My guys aren’t going to appreciate it when I tell them I’m now going to start paying them in rock candy, glass beads and cheap whiskey.

Bishop on March 24, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Those things are likely to be worth a lot more than US dollars soon. Just saying…

trigon on March 24, 2010 at 2:44 PM

2. Get a 1099 and pay your own taxes, healthcare and so forth, while they can pay you as a contractor.

Watch.. it will happen.

upinak on March 24, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Beat me to it. Also, I think it’s pretty easy to get around the independant contractor vs. employee rules.

I’m not saying it’s a good idea, these businesses would most likely have to up the amount they pay overall to make up for things like no 401ks, and no matching funds for same…but the American people are extraordinarily inventive.

Chewy the Lab on March 24, 2010 at 2:44 PM

–There actually are public plans in most states (they’re high risk pools). But the premiums in those plans are 2 times or more higher than the normal insurance premiums for individuals.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

So there is no difference between ObamaCare and what those employees could have gotten from these existing public plans?

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Jimmie for the love of god, stop. You’re flailing like a fish out of water. Move on to the next Kos talking point in another thread.

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Forget health care. This is about stealing liberty and money.

That’s what is important … not whether some business guy can manipulate something the Center for American Progress wrote years ago just waiting for the chance to put it into play.

darwin on March 24, 2010 at 2:45 PM

LOL…..2010′s Small business Krystallnacht. They won’t come for me!

Limerick on March 24, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Expect unemployment to reach levels no one has ever seen in the history of this country. Thank goodness for the cases of MRE’s hidden in the closet and lots of ammo in the safe.

milwife88 on March 24, 2010 at 2:45 PM

robertnyc212 on March 24, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Then, as always, you add nothing to the discussion. Your done. Bye.

PappaMac on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Yes those taxes come into play, but my point, I believe, is made.

If the government creates artifically low premiums for people, and it will for people with incomes under 4x the poverty rate (which is a majority of employees at my company of 100 employees), it is very plausible that a company can create a package that benefits the employee and employer at the expense of the taxpayer…ergo the whole nation.

I am sure our kids and grandkids will enjoy what we have done on Sunday.

WashJeff on March 24, 2010 at 2:38 PM

–I know you all will hate me (once again) for this, but I still think this will be better overall for business that anyone thinks. What it will do is allow more people to be free lancers or consultants instead of full time employees, because people no longer effectively have to get health insurance through their employers. I read somewhere (don’t have a link, though) that maybe 7% to 10% of full time employees stay with their employers only because of health insurance. This addresses that problem (and others) because of the portability/guaranteed issue of insurance going forward.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

This is perhaps the most frustrating part of the whole issue. Anybody with half a brain, which apparently leaves out a whole lot of people, can see why the filthy lying dictator in the White House is full of it when he goes out to sell the public on why Obamacare is fiscally responsible and the right thing to do to reduce costs. It is as dishonest as the double accounting and chalking up massive savings to “elimination of fraud and waste.”

highhopes on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

ObamaCare sets all of its incentives to oppose growth. Can anyone wonder at the impact this will have on the economy?

That’s the whole point of this bill. To render us helpless, and dependent on them. It’s just a matter of time as Dingle said, to control us, and little by little they chip away at the constitution to meet that end goal. Control!!!

capejasmine on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Just finished reading an article where some restaurants in San Francisco are either raising their menu prices to cover the cost of worker’s healthcare, or they are adding an extra fee, called a “Healthy Surcharge”, to the final check. The surcharge averages around 4% of the check. I fear this will catch on across the country, and we will be paying for other’s healthcare at the restaurants and through higher income taxes.

I urge everyone to start watching your final check totals at the restaurants. Ask first before ordering if there will be a “Healthy Surcharge” added to the cost of your meals. If any of you want to willingly pay the “Healthy Surcharge”, have at it. I will not and I will watch carefully for sudden price increases on the menus. If I see a trend in menu prices increasing gradually, I will simply put an end to eating away from home. I hate to stick it to the struggling restaurant owners, but we are being forced by creeping socialism to watch out for our own best interests.

metroryder on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

milwife88 on March 24, 2010 at 2:45 PM

MRE’s can freeze. Get dehydrated food.

upinak on March 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Oh no they won’t, I’ll force them to buy necessities from my company store at inflated prices.

Bishop on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Sixteen tons! You heartless dog! Just wait ’til the new JC Penney comes along! :)

jwolf on March 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:28 PM

cs89 on March 24, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I understand that guys, and I appreciate your trying to explain it to me.

But I guess I didn’t frame the question correctly. I understand why an employer would offer insurance as a benefit. I’m asking why they would stop, since the incentive to offering insurance will still be there. If their competitors stop offering insurance, I can see why they would, but since their competitors still have the incentive to offer health benefits they aren’t going to stop offering health benefits either.

If I’m already doing something because it benefits me, why would I quit doing it because the government starts punishing people who don’t do it?

Bobbertsan on March 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM

PappaMac on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

You really should consider changing your handle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mack

Just sayin…

robertnyc212 on March 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Oh good grief. Then what comes after this? They add 20-30 million more people to the rolls by legalizing illegals. Then they impose Cap and Tax and stifle business and raise costs even higher … this isn’t about health care.

darwin on March 24, 2010 at 2:48 PM

I know you all will hate me (once again) for this, but I still think this will be better overall for business that anyone thinks. What it will do is allow more people to be free lancers or consultants instead of full time employees, because people no longer effectively have to get health insurance through their employers. I read somewhere (don’t have a link, though) that maybe 7% to 10% of full time employees stay with their employers only because of health insurance. This addresses that problem (and others) because of the portability/guaranteed issue of insurance going forward.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Hate is a strong word. If you feel hatred, perhaps it is because you show up with the same old lies/talking points and insist that you aren’t full of it when clearly you are. Obamacare is not reform. Come back when you want to have a discussion about reform in all its aspects including tort reform.

highhopes on March 24, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Beat me to it. Also, I think it’s pretty easy to get around the independant contractor vs. employee rules.

I’m not saying it’s a good idea, these businesses would most likely have to up the amount they pay overall to make up for things like no 401ks, and no matching funds for same…but the American people are extraordinarily inventive.

Chewy the Lab on March 24, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Not sure about all states, but there are strict limits here in CT about how long and how much work and independent contractor can do for one company before they are considered a full time employee. It’s pretty low on the hours IIRC. haven’t looked it up since the wife used to do 1099 work, but there are state limits that prevent you from doing full time for one single company.

Johnnyreb on March 24, 2010 at 2:49 PM

BTW, I understand how ObamaCare is a disincentive to raise wages, and I understand how it’s going to be bad for the economy as a whole, I just don’t understand this one aspect of it.

Bobbertsan on March 24, 2010 at 2:49 PM

do. Employers generally pay $1000+ a month (before employee contributions) for health insurance for a family of four. Compare that to $2000 per employee a year.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM
Jimmie,

You compared the cost of Family Leave act to the cost Obamacare. Which means you have no idea what you’re talking about. Just admit it.

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM

–There actually are public plans in most states (they’re high risk pools). But the premiums in those plans are 2 times or more higher than the normal insurance premiums for individuals.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM
So there is no difference between ObamaCare and what those employees could have gotten from these existing public plans?

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:43 PM

–Go back and read more carefully. I didn’t say Obamacare was the same as Family and Medical Leave Act. I said that both had a 50 employee floor. People expected companies to cut one or two employees to avoid the impact of the F and ML Act, but it didn’t happen. As to the difference between Obamacare and the public high risk pool plans, the premiums under Obamacare are generally less than the premiums under the public high risk pool plans (and in some cases you can’t get into the public high risk pool plans until you can’t find insurance or haven’t been insured for six months, so they wouldn’t kick in until at least six months after COBRA is exhausted).

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

OMG, how did you know I am a consultant for the federal govt and it is in my estimation that this health care bill is going to bankrupt small business’ and this country at warp speed.

That’ll be $499.95 please.
Yep you are right this whole “free lance thingy” is awesome!
/

milwife88 on March 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM

I believe many business owners will want to keep offering good benefits. It helps them attract better workers, after all. But with health care costs climbing, and this bill doing nothing to reduce costs, they’ll soon be forced to either reduce payroll or reduce benefits.

hawksruleva on March 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM

What it will do is allow more people to be free lancers or consultants instead of full time employees, because people no longer effectively have to get health insurance through their employers.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

I won’t be the only one to reply this way, but you know that conservatives want to sever the tie between employer and health insurance, and we can do that part with zero cost to taxpayers.

WashJeff on March 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM

This addresses that problem (and others) because of the portability/guaranteed issue of insurance going forward.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

We had to destroy the village in order to save it.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Chain restaurants and food sold from vending machines would be required to disclose the nutritional content of each item. (Proposed regulations issued within one year of enactment) ( §4205)

kingsjester on March 24, 2010 at 2:51 PM

What it will do is allow more people to be free lancers or consultants instead of full time employees, because people no longer effectively have to get health insurance through their employers.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Snort! Are you joking? If the Dems had advertised their bill this way, do you seriously believe it would have even gotten 25% of the vote in either chamber? This argument is not exactly a political winner.

jwolf on March 24, 2010 at 2:52 PM

but I still think this will be better overall for business that anyone thinks

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

And how about the actual People of the United States. Oh, the Special Interest Party doesn’t care one Iota about us. You spin so fast Iran wants to use you to enrich uranium.

Holger on March 24, 2010 at 2:52 PM

This shows the incredible reach of the tentacles of this disgusting legislation. If effects the hiring, the salaries, the expansion and the benefit decisions of a company.

Government has now reached every aspect of a small business and they are not even done yet. Wait for Cap & Trade, immigration, etc.

What would stop them?

They have already battle-tested their template: make deals and use reconcilliation and they can pass any bill they want to.

Opposite Day on March 24, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Just finished reading an article where some restaurants in San Francisco are either raising their menu prices to cover the cost of worker’s healthcare, or they are adding an extra fee, called a “Healthy Surcharge”, to the final check. The surcharge averages around 4% of the check. I fear this will catch on across the country, and we will be paying for other’s healthcare at the restaurants and through higher income taxes.

I urge everyone to start watching your final check totals at the restaurants. Ask first before ordering if there will be a “Healthy Surcharge” added to the cost of your meals. If any of you want to willingly pay the “Healthy Surcharge”, have at it. I will not and I will watch carefully for sudden price increases on the menus. If I see a trend in menu prices increasing gradually, I will simply put an end to eating away from home. I hate to stick it to the struggling restaurant owners, but we are being forced by creeping socialism to watch out for our own best interests.

metroryder on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

–San Francisco restaurants started adding that surcharge in 2008 because of a health coverage program by the City of SF.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:53 PM

You really should consider changing your handle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mack

Just sayin…

robertnyc212 on March 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Why don’t you lay off his screen name. He already explained that his kids call him that. Who cares what meaning you attach to it?

TXMomof3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

I don’t hate anyone, but I gotta tell ya. I hope you’re right, but I know you’re not. The cat has been let out of the bag several times on this. Dingle is thee most recent cat. This is about control. These people aren’t democrats. They are communists. They’ve been planning this takeover for years….and not til November, they’re going to work fast, and furiously to finish it off. Just watch…it’s coming!

capejasmine on March 24, 2010 at 2:53 PM

but I still think this will be better overall for business that anyone thinks

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Yes! Quite! It is always a winning proposition to reduce the amount of cash in a consumer’s pocketbook! How could we have been so damn blind for so damn long?

Limerick on March 24, 2010 at 2:53 PM

If I’m already doing something because it benefits me, why would I quit doing it because the government starts punishing people who don’t do it?

Bobbertsan on March 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Because Uncle Sam just offered them a big carrot and a small stick.

Insurance premiums are rising, these “exchanges” offer a “guilt-free” way to dump the insurance as the employees can get the bennies there, and the fine is significantly lower than what they pay now for health insurance.

Company A cuts the insurance, gives the employee a 5% raise and info on the new insurance programs, and improves their bottom line all in one fell swoop.

What does Company B have to do to stay in the game?

cs89 on March 24, 2010 at 2:53 PM

I agree that most companies don’t give part timers benefits.
Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Do you think part-timers should get paid for health insurance from their employers? Or that 2 part timers be counted as one full timer for purposes of govt fines under the health care plan?
What about those employees who are offered full-time hours, but miss so many days each week/month that they actually only work part-time hours? Most businesses face this problem, and employers should not have to treat these part-time employees as though they were full time.

MississippiMom on March 24, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Why don’t you lay off his screen name. He already explained that his kids call him that. Who cares what meaning you attach to it?

TXMomof3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Because he’s a Christian man, and he’s judging. It’s what Jesus would do!

capejasmine on March 24, 2010 at 2:54 PM

What it will do is allow more people to be free lancers or consultants instead of full time employees, because people no longer effectively have to get health insurance through their employers.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM
Snort! Are you joking? If the Dems had advertised their bill this way, do you seriously believe it would have even gotten 25% of the vote in either chamber? This argument is not exactly a political winner.

jwolf on March 24, 2010 at 2:52 PM

–Right. It’s not like many of you haven’t been saying how important it is to cut the link between health insurance and employment???

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:54 PM

But I guess I didn’t frame the question correctly. I understand why an employer would offer insurance as a benefit. I’m asking why they would stop, since the incentive to offering insurance will still be there. If their competitors stop offering insurance, I can see why they would, but since their competitors still have the incentive to offer health benefits they aren’t going to stop offering health benefits either.

If I’m already doing something because it benefits me, why would I quit doing it because the government starts punishing people who don’t do it?

Bobbertsan on March 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Because employers are facing increasing costs for providing insurance. Not only is the cost of actual medical services increasing, but insurance companies are being forced to cover more medical conditions, more types of treatment, and eliminate some low-cost coverage options. So insurance premiums will rise, perhaps even faster than they’ve BEEN rising.

My employer has already said that they may opt to drop health insurance and give employees the cash difference. That’d save them from their share of insurance costs, and shield them from rising premiums in the future.

hawksruleva on March 24, 2010 at 2:54 PM

–Go back and read more carefully. I didn’t say Obamacare was the same as Family and Medical Leave Act. I said that both had a 50 employee floor. People expected companies to cut one or two employees to avoid the impact of the F and ML Act, but it didn’t happen.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Go back and read what I wrote, about how the two issues are in no way comparable. As to your claim that people were claiming that all businesses just over the threshold would dump employees, you are either lying, or your memory is as bad as your reasoning abilities. Didn’t happen. The claim was that there would be an incentive to do so. Studies have confirmed that this incentive did indeed slow job growth at the 50 employee barrier.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:55 PM

I’ve never had a reason to hire an attorney (civil or criminal), but if I did, I hope my attorndy utilizes basic common sense while working for me.

Then again, from what I’ve seen from some judges my attorney may have to argue in front of, basic common sense may not be a good thing. /Nevermind. Carry on.

ConservativeTony on March 24, 2010 at 2:55 PM

MRE’s can freeze. Get dehydrated food.
upinak on March 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM

I’m selling cans of dehydrated water, $1 per can this week only.

Bishop on March 24, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Have two friends (both smart and able-bodied) drawing unemployment benefits.

I never have and never will.

Why do I feel like the foolish one?

Does anyone know of a country anything akin to the one in which I used to live (USA)? I will seriously consider moving.

IndieDogg on March 24, 2010 at 2:56 PM

What it will do is allow more people to be free lancers or consultants instead of full time employees, because people no longer effectively have to get health insurance through their employers. I read somewhere (don’t have a link, though) that maybe 7% to 10% of full time employees stay with their employers only because of health insurance. This addresses that problem (and others) because of the portability/guaranteed issue of insurance going forward.

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Jimmie,

Since the mid 90s, I have worked full time for less than 2 years. The rest of the time I have been an independent contractor. And guess what, I have bought insurance for myself and my family every year without much hassle.

Again you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about. You parrot these DailyKos talking point that have no relevancy in real life.

Oh and here’s a little fun factoid: when I was employed full time, my insurance cost me $220 a month. When I left that place and went back to being an indie, I had the same coverage more or less from the same insurance company and my premium was $240. But I could deduct the $240 as a business expense and so my real cost was more like $180.

In other words Jimmie, I was better off buying my own private insurance than I was getting it from my employer.

But why let facts get in the way of a good Jimbo3 story?

angryed on March 24, 2010 at 2:56 PM

I won’t be the only one to reply this way, but you know that conservatives want to sever the tie between employer and health insurance, and we can do that part with zero cost to taxpayers.

WashJeff on March 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM

–I know. How would you have done it, thinking about both the transition issues and the ongoing issues?

Jimbo3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Does anyone know if the info from the Heritage Foundation is true?

makaput on March 24, 2010 at 2:56 PM

He’s a lawyer.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

That actually explains a lot.

jarodea on March 24, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Not only that but why have a job?

Food, clothing, shelter, and the Internet are all rights!!!!

- The Cat

MirCat on March 24, 2010 at 2:56 PM

It is 50 employees for everyone except in the construction industry where it is 5 employees.

hmmmmmmmmmm. Wonder why that is?

ORconservative on March 24, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Why don’t you lay off his screen name. He already explained that his kids call him that. Who cares what meaning you attach to it?
TXMomof3 on March 24, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Maybe robert has a man-crush thing going, ever think of that?

Bishop on March 24, 2010 at 2:57 PM

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