Obamacare Costing Nebraska Small Businesses

Date: November 12, 2014

The following guest editorial was sent to the Nebraska media on November 12 as free content for their publications and websites, or as background material for related stories.

Obamacare Costing Nebraska Small Businesses
By Bob Hallstrom
Anyone who runs a small business, or works for a small business, in Nebraska is encountering the pain of renewing his or her group health insurance plan. Many Nebraska businesses are faced with paying anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent increases in their insurance premiums and the blame lies squarely with the Obamacare.
The government’s own actuaries affirmed earlier this year, through a report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that 65 percent of people who work for small businesses will see premium increases due to the law’s community rating requirement.
Additional requirements and taxes have accelerated cost increases further. With their relatively younger and healthier employees, small businesses are the most damaged group under Obamacare, also known as, are you ready for this, the Affordable Care Act.
The actuaries’ findings are, unfortunately, consistent with National Federation of Independent Business’s own research into the impact of the health-care law. We predicted last year that premium increases for the small-business community would be driven by community rating, a mandatory minimum benefit package and new taxes rolled into premiums.
A recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is the fourth in a row to conclude that Obamacare is strangling businesses. According to the survey, the health-care law is prompting a significant number of businesses to cut employees, hike health-care costs for employees, and even raise prices for customers.
This year, 49 percent of businesses surveyed told the Dallas Fed that Obamacare is raising their health-care costs for employees a lot; 55 percent expect it to raise costs in 2015. Almost all companies surveyed admit that the health-care law is making it more difficult to offer employees health coverage.
On top of rising health insurance premiums, Obamacare will hit businesses with increased taxes as well. Both are likely to increase drastically several years down the road. The Cadillac tax, which targets expensive health-care plans, will take effect in 2018. 
Obamacare did build in some premium hike-relief for the first several years, but that’s due to run out in 2016. This all spells trouble for our small business community.
We can’t stand still anymore and hope that things get better. The small-business community must take action and insist that our Congressional representatives repeal Obamacare and advocate for free market solutions in health care.
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Bob Hallstrom is Nebraska state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

Related Content: Small Business News | Nebraska

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A recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is the fourth in a row to conclude that Obamacare is strangling businesses.

NFIB/Nebraska State Director Bob Hallstrom

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