Health care mandate

The health care mandate, recently upheld by the Supreme Court, will begin in 2014 when every person in this country will be required by law to purchase health insurance.

I have not made any secret of my personal opposition to this mandate. But it is law now and, like table saw “flesh sensing technology”, it’s coming, like it or not. Of course, there is the possibility that this could be repealed but there is just as strong a possibility that it will not. So we need to presume that it will become the status quo.

For those of us who run our own businesses, this will certainly become an added cost that we will need to absorb somehow. And not just for ourselves but for our employees as well. There is absolutely going to be a demand from our employees that we cover the cost of their insurance or at least bump wages to cover it. In the long run, this will become another incentive for any business with the resources to do so to move their operation to a location with more favorable regulations. And that is the last thing the American economy needs right now.

D.D.

COMMENTS

  1. Don Thomson wrote:

    I can’t afford health care now. I’m not sure how a law is going to make it possible for me to afford health insurance later. Maybe if the economy (sales) improve, but the government needs to get out of the way so the economy can improve. It’s a catch 22. Government stifling economic improvement yet adding additional taxes – yes they are taxes, I don’t care what anyone says. Any time the government mandates me to spend money, it is a tax, pure and simple.

  2. Brian F wrote:

    You should have said tax, remember, we aren’t required to “purchase” it, that would be unconstitutional. We’re in Califoania which already sucks for business. We are now considering relocating our operation out of the bankrupt Golden State.

  3. Gregg Miller wrote:

    David, having been a full time employee of companies in the past, and more recently over the past 9 years, a contrator to other firms, I can appreciate your position on the new healthcare law. However, I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve had to pay very high COBRA costs while in-between contract assignments, and I’ve paid my share of healthcare benefit premiums while being a full time employee. It’s the employER’s perogative as to how much of a worker’s insurance that the company will cover, and an employer nowadays would be insane to try and offer 100% benefit premium coverage. Also, any employee who would expect his/her employer to foot the entire premium amount needs to have their own head examined.

    An employer who lets the employee dictate the premium coverage amount, doesn’t have much business sense in the first place. The employer will now have to become a better manager of their business, and become a better leader for their staff.

    You might even want to have your employees acquire and read a short book entitled “Who Moved My Cheese” to learn to deal with changes in the workplace.

  4. Dez wrote:

    I agree! What will they do about those that can in no way afford it? Slave camps, or debtors prisons?

  5. Mike Murray wrote:

    There is so much misinformation about the Afordable Care Act I suggesst everyone check out the website from the government explaining in layman’s terms all it does. Per the website, “The Affordable Care Act does not require employers to provide health insurance for their employees. The Employer Responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act applies businesses with more than 50 full-time workers”

    Without being political or partisan, the Affordable Care act was a response to the following:
    1. We pay the highest per cent of our GDP 18% for medical care.
    2. We have millions uninsured.
    3. We are the only industrialized country where you can go “bankrupt” because of medical bills.
    4. Despite paying the highest of any industrialized society, we still have higher infant mortality and shorter lifespans than many countries.

    The Affordable Care Act does not,in reality, alter the way medical care will be paid for the majority of Americans. It is a necessary response to reform our healthcare system which all sides (Doctors, Hospitals, Insurance Companies, Patients, Large and Small Companies) agree was becoming out of control.

    Check out the http://www.healthcare.gov website and get “first hand” information. You’ll have the facts….

  6. Linda wrote:

    I really wish everyone in the USA had the same Universal Health care we have here in Canada. Everyone, rich or poor, is covered. It’s one less thing to worry about if you need medical help.
    When I had an accident with a joiner 20 years ago, I walked to the nearest hospital and they sewed up my fingers. The next three months were challenging enough as I recovered but the one thing I didn’t have to worry about was paying a medical bill.

  7. Jim Wesp wrote:

    It seems to me there are two sides to the health insurance mandate. With the mandate people are required to buy something they might not want to. Without the mandate people can go without insurance, but then if they get sick or injured, the health care systems have to provide care by law. If the patient can’t, or don’t, pay for it – those costs get added into the amount that everyone who has insurance has to pay.

    After 30 years of being in business and buying health insurance for myself and my employees, a bigger problem in my mind is that health insurance is expected to be a part of our jobs. This causes employees who do the same work to get dramatically different benefits. In my current plan a 25 year old’s premium is $200. A 55 year old’s premium is over $900. No matter what percent I pay, the older employee is getting a much bigger benefit. If there are dependents involved the difference is even greater.

    I would be in favor of employers contributing a set amount for insurance benefits that would be the same amount for everyone. Let the employees buy their own health insurance just like they buy their own houses and cars and milk. I think it would also make people use the healthcare system more wisely

  8. Rich wrote:

    If we look at the actual costs of providing health care, aren’t we already spending that money? When we look at things like existing costs, Medicare, Medicaid, our own insurance and the non obvious tax costs. I don’t see that much of a total cost difference, especially when we look at the tax consequences in emergency room costs for providing routine medical services.

    There is one other way to look at this insurance issue. Would you want one of your employees to lose a child because of the lack funds to buy health insurance? Attending a child’s funeral ain’t fun. BTDT

    There are so many things in this world that we can’t fix. Health care is something that we can fix with money and not a lot of money either.

    And don’t get me started about Mr. Gass.

  9. Stanley Johnson wrote:

    Most good companies already pay for health insurance on their employees. It would be nice if the competition had th do the same. Also, you are now paying for those without insurance, and more so because they do not get any preventaive care. When was making people pay their way wrong. Your views are short sited. Just as short sited as the idea that safety should also not be regulated.

  10. Rip wrote:

    Unfortunately, the health care mandate is a prime example of what we get from a government that often excludes itself from programs it mandates for the masses. I am amazed that the voting public continues to accept this behavior from their elected officials. Some day historians will be asking the question: “What were they thinking!”

  11. Mark Slafkes wrote:

    FYI, this particular aspect of the law was insisted on by the Republicans in Congress. The Democrats went along with it in order to get the overall law passed.
    If anyone thinks I have it completely wrong, just go back and take a look and remember that the insurance companies are the primary beneficiaries of this aspect of the law, not small business (as you stated) nor the people who are being forced to BUY health insurance.

  12. Joseph Grove wrote:

    How are the self insured Amish and Mennotite communities going to handle this?

  13. Joseph Grove wrote:

    Mennonite… sorry for the incorrect spelling.

  14. Randy Walker wrote:

    Yes David for those of us that can’t or wont flee the country for the sake of profits, our prices will continue to reflect our overhead as they do with all “commodity item” price changes. If we were competitive before we will continue to be competitive. Imports will continue to hurt us and the insurance companies will continue to rake in the cash. Like you I have issues with mandate laws but like it of not “its going to happen” and the playing field remains level.

    Randy

  15. Bruce wrote:

    I cannot understand the opposition to this law. The gov’t will give assistance to small businesses providing health care. businesses under 50 employees will not be required to provide it.
    We need to do something to expand coverage and slow the growth of health care costs.

  16. Tony wrote:

    Sure, just like all drivers have insurance….and the tax, (fine), this is also going to work. This is really going to get interesting!

  17. Peter specht wrote:

    We are the only western style country in the world that doesn’t have universal health care. As a result we pay much more than the rest of the world and the quality follows the buck. I’m at least as old as you appear to be and every single year I always get an increase in costs and many take free ride. No doubt the old system sucks. All should pay. Man up. Nothing is for free (except maybe it seems skilled wood work is trying to head that way) if the white haired party would grow some and try to work together, as Americans, we could make it the best.

  18. James Richey wrote:

    In my woodworking business there are three things we don’t talk about for fear of offending someone, SEX Religon & Politics. There is no law for or against it, just good manners

  19. Doug wrote:

    I will never understand why people will argue that mandatory auto insurance is requiring “financial responsiblity” and mandatory health insurance is “government steping on the little guy”. Someone who goes to the hospital and expects someone else to pay thier bill is just as irresponsible as someone who runs into your car and does not have the ability to get it repaired for you.

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