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HEALTH CARE REFORM: A BRIEF OVERVIEW AND SOME ADVICE

Oct 1, 2012 12:00 AM


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THE PRINTING INDUS­TRIES OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (PIASC) WEEKLY UPDATE FOR JULY 9, 2012, PROVIDED SOME HELPFUL COMMENTARY on the cur­rent status of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. As most readers know, the Supreme Court found that this legislation was constitutional. So what’s next?

“The answer is nothing much really until January 1, 2014,” says PIASC. “The excise tax on medi­cal devices and prescription drugs comes into being, which will make health coverage somewhat more expensive. There will also be surtax on unearned income for persons with higher incomes.” The newsletter goes on to clarify that changes that have
already occurred (adult children to age twenty-six, preventive care) will remain in place.

NOVEMBER HOLDS THE KEY

“In 2014, the whole system will be changed (or perhaps it won’t) depending on what the new Ad‑ ministration and Congress elected in November decides to do,” says PIASC. “There are significant num­bers of people who are opposed to the whole of PPACA or parts thereof, as it has no provision for reducing overall health care spending and will likely increase it. Given this, it is likely that a significant modification of the plan will occur next year.”

Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News reports that implementing the law is expected to cost about $1 tril­lion over nine years, “much of that for the insurance subsidies and expan­sion of Medicaid, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That is slated to be paid for through savings wrung from Medicare, along with new taxes on industry and high-income earners.”

SOME POINTS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS 

Earlier this year, WebMD highlight­ed four things small business own­ers should know about health care reform, including the following:

  • New insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses can shop for, compare, and pur­chase health insurance plans;
  • Tax credits for companies that employ twenty-five workers earn­ing less than $50,000 per year;
  • Potential penalties for companies with more than fifty employees that don’t provide employees with health insurance; and
  • Wellness program incentives for small businesses.

A BIG EMPLOYEE TURNOVER?

Some surprising observations come from Inc.com’s Kimberly Weisel, who predicts a lot of turnover: “In entrepreneurship, it’s long been said that the single best asset an entre­preneur can have is a spouse with a steady job and health insurance,” she writes. “Now it seems the second half of that qualification is about to vanish.”

I don’t think this will be quite the issue Weisel expects. Unfortunately, many would-be entrepreneurs will be thwarted by the still-stagnant job market. Presumably, one would also want a spouse with a steady income while launching a startup.

A CASE FOR EMAIL AND PRINT

Finally, Craig Silverman of the jour­nalism watchdog group Poynter.org analyzes how at least two major new outlets botched their initial reports. Silverman faulted the journalists but also took the court to task.

The Supreme Court declined to email the decision: Reporters on the scene were given printed handouts, and all others were directed to the court’s website. The website crashed under the volume of traffic and was down for 30 minutes. “A technology failure at the court restricted the flow of information, which in turn had the effect of giving greater prominence to places like CNN and Fox News,” Silverman observes. “When they too failed, it had a cascading effect.”

Cleary, this was a missed opportu­nity for integrated print! Watch CNN explain Health care reform  B2MeMag.com/3S32