States Resisting Obamacare Are Only Hurting Themselves
Thirty-three states in the United States have hesitated to implement the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare. They have not done the staff work to decide whether to offer their own state-level health insurance exchange (for those who are not covered by employer plans) or whether to participate in an exchange plan run by the federal government. Time has run out. The deadline for them to decide is today (November 16, 2012.) Governors and state legislatures need to stop procrastinating and start implementing, or their businesses—both large and small—will suffer.
How Obamacare Helps Small Business
Obamacare goes a long way to help small business lower their costs. Right now, small businesses are in an extremely difficult position due to soaring costs of healthcare. Small businesses don’t have the same purchasing power as large businesses; they pay on average about 18 percent more for equivalent coverage. Their costs go up by double digits every year. As a result, they suffer a major competitive disadvantage. Most small business owners want to provide healthcare to their employees. Owners know that employees with coverage work more productively, with fewer distractions and less stress. But the current health insurance system does not serve small business well.
The Affordable Care Act helps small business in several ways, while giving most small businesses the ability to ignore the new rules if they wish. The act gives small businesses (up to 100 employees) the opportunity to purchase their coverage through insurance exchanges, run at the state or federal level. These exchanges will start operating in 2014 and will provide small business with the same negotiating power and discounts that big businesses enjoy today. This will cut costs, boost profit, and promote hiring.