Obamacare

ObamaCare and Small Business

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz supported last year's health care overhaul before it passed, and he still praises it as well intentioned. But these days, he's become worried about the law's effect on business. Here's what he told The Seattle Times:

"There's no plan that would be a perfect plan, but the intent of the bill and the heartfelt commitment to insure the uninsured is the right approach," he said. "I think as the bill is currently written and if it was going to land in 2014 under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.

Estimates from the Urban Institute, a left-leaning think tank that is generally favorable to ObamaCare, indicate that medium-sized businesses (those with 100-1000 employees) will pay $11.8 billion in new penalties under the law, and that businesses with between 80 and 100 employees will pay approximately $2 billion in similar penalties when employees end up purchasing health insurance through the law's new exchanges. Supporters of the law note that small business tax credits will help some tinier shops purchase coverage, and that in the context of overall wages and salaries for medium sized businesses, the penalties won't be big enough to have a significant detrimental affect. But given that the penalties are likely to be concentrated amongst a relatively small percentage of employers, it's reasonable to suspect that they'll end up significantly and disproportionately hurting some specific types of businesses—likely those with low margins that struggle to keep employee costs down. Regardless, I'm skeptical that saddling employers with nearly $14 billion in new penalties is the sort of policy that's likely to make it easier to do business in an already difficult economy.

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  1. Supporters of the law note that small business tax credits will help some tinier shops purchase coverage[…]

    When has it become the moral imperative to protect and cuddle the so-called “small business,” as if it were the only valid form of productive organization?

    Besides this, small businesses should be wary of politicians talking about protecting them: Politicians always talk in glowing terms about the people or groups they intend to fleece next.

  2. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz supported last year’s health care overhaul before it passed, and he still praises it as well intentioned….medium-sized businesses (those with 100-1000 employees) will pay $11.8 billion in new penalties under the law, and that businesses with between 80 and 100 employees will pay approximately $2 billion in similar penalties when employees end up purchasing health insurance through the law’s new exchanges.

    That ought to keep those upstart coffee shops from challenging the Caffeinated Hegemony.

  3. “[…]I’m skeptical that saddling employers with nearly $14 billion in new penalties is the sort of policy that’s likely to make it easier to do business in an already difficult economy.”

    “Being skeptical” of ObamaCare’s rosy promises is absolutely no insurmountable task, Peter. Not at all.

  4. Would that ramp shown in the photo be part of the Oakland Int’l Airport (OAK)? Looks awfully familiar.

  5. “There’s no plan that would be a perfect plan…”

    And he could’ve stopped right there. But hey, don’t let me get in the way of the fun of managing personal decisions for everyone.

  6. Starbucks management, like Apple is populated by a large number of workaholic, overachieving leftys. They get what they deserve.

    1. A shitload of cash because they make all manner of shit people want to buy?

  7. Oh, for what it’s worth, the hospital I work for also supported the healthcare overhaul. We’ll see where that gets us.

  8. Starbucks takes pride in the fact that it offers a rich health plan to all its employees.

    I suspect that this point of pride has become a major financial millstone, and that no small part of their support for ObamaCare was the desire to make sure that all their competition suffered under the same burden.

    Whenever you hear a CEO or financial whiz talking, your default assumption should be that they are talking their book.

    1. Large American corporations have, for years been in support of some govermental, single-payer system. They’ve complained about the advantages European companies have in that they don’t have the burden of healthcare coverage.

      That’s why I knew years ago that when the so-called “Capitalists” were on board with a socialized single-payer system, that it was a feta compli.

  9. “small business tax credits will help some tinier shops purchase coverage, and that in the context of overall wages and salaries for medium sized businesses, the penalties won’t be big enough to have a significant detrimental affect. But given that the penalties are likely to be concentrated amongst a relatively small percentage of employers, it’s reasonable to suspect that they’ll end up significantly and disproportionately hurting some specific types of businesses”

    First of all[like OM said] I’m not sure why I should be expected to feel good about the destructrion of big businesses just because small/medium businesses will not be hurt as bad. Second of all, that’s not even true. Big businesses will pass the cost to small/medium businesses when they are given special permission to opt out.

    1. Re: Fiscal Meth,

      Big businesses will pass the cost to small/medium businesses when they are given special permission to opt out.

      Pretty much.

  10. Why the fuck is health insurance tied intrinsically to your place of employment again?

    It just doesn’t make any fucking sense.

    1. Agree to an extent. Everyone dislikes the notion of socialized health benefits but it really is what we have now.

      Try buying health benefits on your own especially if you or a family member has any kind of chronic condition. The only option is to join an employer group plan with lots of other people all paying into it so it all balances it.

      The only difference between these plans and generally socialized medicine is the fact that everyone is paying a lot of cash into instead of some people paying a lot, some people paying a little and half the people paying nothing.

      So to get socialized health care working it seems the only option is to make sure everyone is paying their share. Imagine that.

  11. Maybe Howard should have just given his employees better benefits (Starbucks benefits suck for what they are) instead of making everyone else pay for their benefits while he takes advantage of every tax loophole possible.

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