No biggie: Obamacare paperwork costs small businesses thousands

There are a lot of things an Obamacare apologist could say about Obamacare. It gets more people covered! (Debatable but an understandable assertion given the thrust of the pitch for the law.) It’s totes helping people who had crappy coverage before. (There’s no allowance given for those who just actually realized they needed less comprehensive coverage and made that decision and would like to continue to make it.) People love it. (Nope.) One thing you absolutely, positively cannot say for it, no matter how hard you try, is that it’s simple.

And, when something isn’t simple, it costs a lot to comply. Enjoy, small businesses of America:

NEW YORK (AP) – Complying with the health care law is costing small businesses thousands of dollars that they didn’t have to spend before the new regulations went into effect.

Brad Mete estimates his staffing company, Affinity Resources, will spend $100,000 this year on record-keeping and filing documents with the government. He’s hired two extra staffers and is spending more on services from its human resources provider.

The Affordable Care Act, which as of next Jan. 1 applies to all companies with 50 or more workers, requires owners to track staffers’ hours, absences and how much they spend on health insurance. Many small businesses don’t have the human resources departments or computer systems that large companies have, making it harder to handle the paperwork. On average, complying with the law costs small businesses more than $15,000 a year, according to a survey released a year ago by the National Small Business Association.

“It’s a horrible hassle,” says Mete, managing partner of the Miami-based company.

But there are some winners. Some companies are hiring people to take on the extra work and human resources providers and some software developers are experiencing a bump in business.

Companies must track workers’ hours according to rules created by the IRS to determine whether a business is required to offer health insurance to workers averaging 30 hours a week, and their dependents. Companies may be penalized if they’re subject to the law and don’t offer insurance.

Businesses must also track the months an employee is covered by insurance, and the cost of premiums so the government can decide if the coverage is affordable under the law.

Well, that’s dandy. You see, we’re creating jobs by diverting resources that could otherwise be spent, um, creating increased business and therefore jobs, by making people who create jobs adhere to unreasonable standards of surveillance and corresponding paperwork to record their employees’ status. Yay, economy! Bring on the onerous paperwork. No one on the left has ever heard the term opportunity cost, apparently.

Death by a thousand cuts. And, they applaud a thousand cuts and wonder why the economy trudges.