22 November 2013, 11:06

Small business owners unhappy with Obamacare

Small business owners unhappy with Obamacare

US small business owners had a chance to speak up on President Obama's affordable healthcare program at a congressional hearing on Wednesday. Most of the speakers weren't pleased.

Baltimore businessman Drew Greenblatt, owner of Marlin Steel Wire with fewer than 50 employees, said that he had been repeatedly been assured that the Affordable Healthcare Act, or Obamacare, would not apply to him and that he would be able to keep his plan. "I was startled, I was shocked, when our health insurance went up 49 percent this year," he told congressmen.

Other business owners share Greenblatt's dismay over health insurance premium hikes they are experiencing under Obamacare.

Sheila Salter, who runs a one-person marketing consulting firm in North Carolina, said that her monthly premiums would more than double from $202 to $584, taking a $4,584 bite out of her business due to Obamacare's ten "essential benefits" which she now has to have yet doesn't want.

Salter drew laughter at the hearing when she said that though she had no history of alcohol or drug abuse, she was so stressed by Obamacare that she felt she is going to drink more alcohol.

"When I hear people talk about oh, you know, go to the exchanges, shop, shop, shop. You have one plan, okay? That plan includes the benefits listed in the left-hand column. Now you can see Sheila's plan. Sheila's plan was the one that I chose. I chose my services. I've done that all these years. I chose those services, chose that deductible for $202 a month. Now, with Obamacare, I have to have those ten essential benefits. Now I challenge anybody in this room to look at the services that I selected for myself, noting that I'm 61. I know I don't look it, and I have no children or history of alcohol or drug abuse. Yet, OK, because this is driving me to drink. But does anybody here really think that I need all the services on the left-hand column? I don't think so," Salter said.

It would've been funny, were it not so sad. Unfortunately, business owners' fears are not unfounded. Obamarecare will lead to millions of additional healthcare plans that fail to meet the required "essential benefits" being dropped and replaced with astronomically higher premiums. 

Voice of Russia, Open Forum, IJReview

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