Small Businesses See Rising Employer Costs in Health Care Reform
As lawmakers nationwide continue to meet with constituents about health care reform, small-business owners are expressing concerns about various proposals they say could place a heavy burden on employers, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Currently, most businesses are under no legal obligation to provide health insurance to their employees.
Although the majority of businesses with more than 200 workers offer health benefits, only about 62% of smaller companies provide coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
However, Democratic proposals to overhaul health care aim to extend coverage to the 46 million U.S. residents without health insurance, including the nearly seven million uninsured Californians.
Under major proposals for health care reform under consideration in Congress, businesses would help extend coverage by providing health benefits to their workers and paying a large portion of employee premiums. Employers who did not provide coverage would face penalties.Small-business owners and advocates say such mandates would place significant strain on their finances, particularly during the recession. They say lawmakers should focus instead on curbing rising health care costs (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 8/26). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.