Obamacare to hit small business hard in 2015

IBD:
With businesses' one-year reprieve from financial penalties under ObamaCare ending, the horror stories of complying with the costly health care law already are trickling in. The worst is yet to come.

ObamaCare Hits Small Business Hard in '15

Starting Jan. 1, employers with 100 or more full-time workers face hefty increases in their health insurance costs as they comply for the first time with the mandate.

They must now offer the government's comprehensive coverage — including "free" preventive care — for all employees working 30 or more hours a week, or risk being fined $2,000 per employee per year.

But many of these small businesses are retailers that don't have the kind of margins where they can cover workers and still stay in business.

Many grocers and restaurants have opted to pay the fine rather than swallow the larger cost of buying coverage for all workers. Others are cutting back worker hours to duck the law altogether.

Universal health care is hardly "free," and its costs hit both employees and customers hard. Service companies — including even garbage collectors — are passing on the added cost to customers in the form of higher bills.

Take God Bless the USA, a trash collection company outside Charlotte, N.C. It recently notified customers that it's raising prices 5% to help cover expenses.

"Due to the Affordable Care Act, effective Jan. 1, 2015, we are obligated to provide health care coverage to all of our employees," it explained in a Dec. 5 letter. "Unfortunately, we are unable to internalize this cost and are sorry we have to pass this cost on to you."

Requirements under ObamaCare tighten in 2016, when smaller firms employing 50 to 99 full-time workers also have to offer coverage or face fines.
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Rate increases of 15 to 45 percent are anticipated for some small companies.  This law continues to be a rolling financial disaster with benefits for the few who don't have to pay for them.

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