The White House wants you, small business owner, to hop on to the Obama health care reform wagon. The Council of Economic Advisors, from the Executive Office of the President, recently released a report titled "Economic Effects of Health Care Reform on Small Businesses and Their Employees."
And in an Obama-esque, tech-forward move, Chair of the Council Dr. Christina Romer, has also initiated an online discussion on LinkedIn.com. There, she invites responses to the following question: "The White House wants to know: What are the most important issues for small businesses when it comes to health care?" And if you weren't sure whether the small business community has opinions on the issue, the 1500+ posts over the four days since the question was posted, should leave you reassured it does.
Dr. Romer told reporters that expanding health care coverage would lessen the burden on most small businesses. To be sure, the report backs up its finding that small businesses are actually paying nearly 20% more for health insurance coverage per employee than big business due to the various middle-man and broker fees associated with buying smaller bundles of policies with various forms and sources of evidence.
Turning to the live discussion, check out excerpts of the responses by different users below... then consider weighing in yourself.
"Small businesses should be able to hire the workers they need, without thought to benefits and perks that larger companies can afford..."
"The biggest problem is the expense of health insurance. We should get all employers out of the health insurance game and either let the 'free market' provide insurance to all (which will be hopelessly expensive), or expand Medicare to all at a far reduced expense..."
"One of the key issues is people with no prior coverage. They are excluded by current law from coverage for "pre-existing" prior conditions for 12 months..." -
"The only thing I would like to know is how will those employees I have to lay off to pay for health care for those I retain be better off?"
"The most important issue is that government stays out of our business. Medical benefits are just that BENEFITS, offered to be competitive in the market..."
"There is a huge disincentive for uninsured individuals to obtain routine preventive health care- any new diagnoses will just reduce the likelihood further that they can qualify for affordable health insurance..."
"The problem with healthcare for small businesses is the per-employee cost is much higher than it is for large businesses: most insurance carriers price based on the size of the group and because small businesses by definition have small groups, small businesses end up paying substantially more per person..."