Some Small Businesses Opt for the Health-Care Penalty:
Small-business owners across the U.S. are bracing for the health-care law that kicks in next year, fearing it will increase the cost of providing insurance to employees.
But Rick Levi, a business owner in Des Moines, Iowa, is among those considering the government’s escape hatch: paying a penalty to avoid the law’s “employer mandate.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with 50 or more full-time workers will be required to provide coverage for employees who work an average of 30 or more hours a week in a given month. An alternative to that mandate is for business owners to pay a $2,000 penalty for each full-time worker over a 30-employee threshold.
Mr. Levi currently spends about $140,000 a year on insurance premiums to cover 25 managerial staff at his business, Consolidated Management, which runs cafeterias at schools, offices and jails.
Under the new law, he will have to offer insurance to all of his 102 full-time employees starting in January. Assuming all of them take the coverage, Mr. Levi says the cost of premiums could exceed $500,000.
“I’ve never made a profit in any year of the company that has surpassed that amount,” says Mr. Levi, 62 years old. “I don’t make enough money.”
He says it makes more sense to drop insurance entirely and pay a penalty of about $144,000.
Simply understanding the bill is difficult enough to the point that the Government wants to hire “navigators” to help people understand the foreign language that is the Affordable Care Act:
Tens of thousands of health care professionals, union workers and community activists hired as “navigators” to help Americans choose Obamacare options starting Oct. 1 could earn $20 an hour or more, according to new regulations issued Wednesday.
It is still not clear how many navigators will be required. California, however, provides a hint. It wants 21,000.
That could be an expensive proposition. The proposed rules, now open for public comment, suggest an estimated pay of $20-$48 an hour.
The coming blame game approaches as Sibelius initiates the talking point of scapegoating Republicans for the coming Obamacare messes:
As Democrats grow increasingly worried that ObamaCare will explode on the launch pad just as midterm elections get going, the Obama administration seeks to pin blame on Republicans. Good luck with that.
Earlier this week, Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius admitted that she didn’t realize how complicated getting ObamaCare off the ground would be.
Sebelius complained that “no one fully anticipated” the difficulties involved in implementing ObamaCare, or how confusing it would be with the public.
She wasn’t talking about the massive and impossible task of imposing central planning on one-sixth of the nation’s economy.
Instead, she was trying to find a way to blame Republicans for ObamaCare’s failures when the inevitable problems start emerging.
Rather than say “let’s get on board, let’s make this work,” recalcitrant Republicans have forced her to engage in “state-by-state political battles,” Sebelius said at a Harvard School of Public Health forum. “The politics has been relentless.”
So let’s see if we get this. Democrats shoved an unpopular, expensive, ill-conceived and poorly written law down the country’s throat with no Republican support, and without bothering to see whether states would want to take on the thankless and costly task of helping the feds implement it.
And now that many of these states are rebelling, it’s the Republicans’ fault?