When the Conservative wave of Tea Party Republicans (Teapublians for short) rose into office on massive worry over the future of our economy, jobs seemed to be the main focus of that drive. The Tea parties around the country pushed an agenda of anger at losing jobs to immigrants and government in the media so much that even South Park had some fun at their expense. A new study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits was compiled studying the impact of the Affordable Care Act. A survey was taken in 2012 and 2013 to measure attitudes from employers around the structured implementation of Obama’s ACA (Obamacare), which most of the final provisions for the ACA will happen in 2014.
There were some adverse affects to small business which involved increased premium costs from employees, higher spousal rates, and more limitation to employer out-of-pocket expenses. However, overall the conclusion of this report has been by and large a positive thing for the bulk of American workers. For example… they did a comparison of businesses by size.
- Employers with more than 50 employees are more likely to be investing in wellness and prevention.
- Employers with 50 or fewer employees are generally making more employment-based decisions with hiring,reductions and reallocating hours.
- Employers with 50 or fewer employees are slightly more likely to discontinue coverage. The smaller the orga-nization the less concerned it is about the actions of competitors.
- Smaller employers are less likely to have measured the cost impact of ACA on their organization, and morelikely to estimate a higher cost impact.
In fact the adverse effects of the ACA may be the result of a perception of duty by partisan politics enforcing the notion that Obamacare equals firing employees. There were 7.7% of those employers surveyed who said they would either cut benefits entirely or cut health benefits for retired employees. The number of employers preparing for Obamacare in 2013 was evident as well as the number of people waiting on the fence for possible repeal of the ACA have gone from 31% in 2012 down to 9% in 2013. Small business with less than 50 employees are showing the most resistance to planning ahead on a “multi-year approach” for negating the impact of higher costs where over 50% of larger employers who have more than 10,000 employees have been planning.
The result seems to imply that the impact of Obamacare is really only as bad as how people perceive it to be. If you are the grasshopper who is wasting away his time during the summer complaining about the use of tax dollars while the ants are busy preparing for the coming winter, then maybe that is just giving Darwin another win for his perceptions. The ACA is a small price to pay for preventive care which will only reduce our tax burdens through spending wisely to garner savings. Maybe that sounds a bit Progressive or Liberal to invest back into a company instead of deferring maintenance… but that’s just me.