Mar 22, 2010 7:23 PM by Sarah Rosario

The Healthcare Bill an Impact on Small Businesses

The bill that will forever change America's healthcare system has been under pressure all weekend and is now getting heat from small business owners. Business owners say there are many questions left unanswered. The owners who do know a little about the bill, say it will hurt them more than it will help.

Damon Prudhomme is one of them. He delivers plate lunches to businesses five days a week. He owns Tiny's Meat House in Broussard and says the new health care bill is something he can't afford. "Their forcing small business owners like me to carry insurance on employees, when I don't even carry insurance on myself because it's too expensive." Patrick Poupart, owner of Poupart's bakery agrees. He says his approval of the bill depends on how well he's informed. " I don't really know enough about it, but I do know that it will affect all of us, and I don't think that the government should impose healthcare on small businesses."

Under the bill employers will have to pay higher taxes on healthcare plans. Starting in 2014, small business owners with 50 employees or more will have to carry insurance for all full time employees, or else pay a two-thousand dollar fine. The small businesses with 25 or less can get can a waiver to be exempt.

Since the cap is at 50, small business owners say this will force them to do more with less. Poupart and Prudhomme both said if they were in that situation, they'd end up cutting employees and taking the loss, "They will make cuts; I mean they'll do whatever they have to do to stay underneath that 50 employee mark so they don't have to spend the money," said Poupart.

All of the changes the new bill brings are not bad. Small businesses carrying insurance will get tax incentives that will cover 50-percent of the cost. Those who have 100 employees or less can participate in new insurance exchanges with group rates, benefits, and choice of insurers.

Louisiana Republican Senator, David Vitter says the new bill is an all time low for the president and his staff. "What I find shocking is that President Obama and Nancy Pelosi went with a bill that merited zero republican votes. They just used every procedural trick in the book to railroad it through.

The good news is those who have an employee sponsored healthcare plan won't see much of change.

Sarah Rosario



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