Archive for the 'Universal health care' Category

POLL RESULTS: New Obamacare compliance is coming for small businesses in 2016. Do you know how it applies to you?

The Question:

New Obamacare compliance is coming for small businesses in 2016. Do you know how it applies to you?

11% - I am prepared to comply with new Obamacare rules.
9% - I am not yet in compliance, but know what to do.
23% - I am not in compliance, and still don’t know what to do.
57% - My business does not have to comply with Obamacare.
Jim’s Comments:
Most small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, which is currently below the criteria for having to comply with Obamacare under the employer mandate. So I’m not surprised to see that our sample responded with 57% in this category.
But I am surprised to see that about a third of our folks still aren’t yet in compliance. The reason is likely that we’ve all seen how many times the law has been unilaterally changed by the Obama administration — more than 30 since 2010 — including moving compliance date deadlines. Why jump through a bunch of hoops if you don’t have to, right?

However, I think Obamacare is where it’s going to be for now, so if you have to be in compliance, either do so or know your exposure for non-compliance. Good luck.

Thanks for your abiding support of our poll each week. Check out our new one below.

POLL RESULTS: The Supreme Court and Obamacare

The Question:

The Supreme Court may strike down a major component of Obamacare this month. What do you think?

5% - I like Obamacare and hope they don’t change it.

66% - I don’t like Obamacare and hope they strike it down.

18% - I won’t be impacted either way.

11% - I don’t know.

Jim’s Comments:

As you can see, the Affordable Care Act is not popular among small business owners. The primary reason is it isn’t more affordable than what most of us already had, plus it has added extra regulatory complications to our lives.

But stay tuned, because sometime this coming week the Supreme Court will likely announce their decision on King v Burwell. This case has many implications that I’ve either written about or talked about with experts on my show. Here are the main points to keep in mind:

* If the decision goes against the Obama Administration, it would essentially void many of the law’s key components, making it a shadow of its former self.

* If the decision goes for the President, it would establish that the IRS can interpret laws as they see fit, rather than as written.

This may not be the most significant ruling in the history of the high court, but surely it’s one of them. Say a prayer for the Constitution.

RESULTS: What are your future plans for offering health care to your employees?

The Question:
What are your future plans for offering health care (HC) benefits to your employees?

36% - We have and will continue to offer HC benefits.
11% - We currently have HC benefits, but plan to discontinue.
31% - We don’t have HC benefits and won’t provide them in the future.
0% - We currently don’t provide HC benefits, but plan to start.
22% -  We don’t have employees.

Jim’s Comments:
Of our respondents who have employees, those who provide healthcare benefits are not far below those who don’t.  I’m taking that as a good indicator. The response that is troubling is that 11% are currently providing coverage but plan to stop, plus no one reported they were planning to start offering healthcare benefits.  Part of the reason might be associated with economic conditions, but based on what we’re learning, it’s my opinion that the imposition of Obamacare is also involved.
I’ve been very outspoken about my opposition to Obamacare. Unfortunately, every day that goes by Obamacare continues to affirm my predictions that it’s a bad alternative to what we had and what could have been done to accomplish real reform. On my radio program this week I asked healthcare policy expert, Grace-Marie Turner, President of the Galen Institute, if 2015 was going to be the worst year yet for Obamacare? She said every year is going to replace the previous one as the worst year of Obamacare. Click here to listen to our discussions.

SBA Poll Results: How has Obamacare impacted you?

The Question:

Now that Obamacare has been in force over 6 months, how has it impacted you?

43% - Obamacare has had no negative impact on me or my business.
11% - Our previous policy was cancelled because of Obamacare.

43% - The cost of our existing insurance has increased because of Obamacare.

3% - Our new policy is not as good as the one we had before Obamacare.

Jim’s Comments:

When we asked recently what the big challenges for small businesses were, Obamacare was no higher than third on a list of five. So it didn’t surprise me when 43% of our respondents to last week’s poll said Obamacare has had no negative impact on them. But that still leaves more than half who have been negatively impacted. And I fear that many of the first 43% will have a different story in about a year when the employer mandate goes into effect.

Obamacare is bad policy, it’s a bad law, it’s bad for the U.S. healthcare system, it’s bad for the economy, and it’s going to continue to be bad for most small businesses.

SBA Poll Results: How has Obamacare impacted your spending?

The Question:
How has the troubled roll-out of Obamacare this year, and uncertainty about healthcare coverage for next year impacted your holiday spending?

15% - It has had no impact at all. We’re not concerned about it.

38% - We’re somewhat concerned but haven’t adjusted our holiday spending.

31% - We’re concerned, and it has somewhat impacted our holiday spending.

16% - Our concerns about Obamcare have significantly lowered our holiday budget.

My Comments:
Well, less than half of our respondents, 47%, report Obamacare concerns have impacted their holiday spending. But those who confess concern, if not spending restraint, represented 85% of our audience.

Once we were merely concerned about Obamacare based on uncertainty about how it would work. Now we have plenty of troubling evidence that makes the damage of this law less uncertain, and yet there is still so much more to come that we don’t know about in the remaining roll out in 2014. Thus, at this moment, Obamacare has created a kind of double jeopardy–bad news that is real and more uncertainty about what’s yet to come.

One day in the future, when political science and government classes focus on how to create and launch successful political policy, Obamacare will surely be the all-time example of how NOT to do it. In the meantime, Americans are having to live the reality that is Obamacare as the metaphor for an epic fail in government and politics.


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SBA Poll Results: How has Obamacare effected your business?

The Question:
Obamacare was launched October 1. Have you seen a difference in customer attitudes and sales since then?

59% - No, customers aren’t acting differently and sales are the same.

41% - Yes, customer activity and sales are down since Sept.

My Comments:
I asked this question last week because when I have asked small businesses recently about sales, I have gotten comments like, “We were having a decent year, but since the beginning of October, it’s like someone turned off a switch.” So, I wanted to see how pervasive this condition was, and, as you can see from our responses, four-of-ten is pretty significant.

For almost four years, the uncertainty of how bad Obamacare would be has contributed greatly to the slow recovery. Like a perverse gift that keeps on giving, what we now know to be true about Obamacare is having a negative impact on the economy.


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Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

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