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Forbes: Obamacare is working

Forbes magazine has a new article that points out that — despite what Republicans are saying about the health care reform bill killing jobs — that Obamacare is helping small businesses offer health care to their employees. This is great news.

I have started a number of small businesses, and I have long said that the problems that small businesses had in the past offering health insurance to their employees is huge problem to startups, and consequently an enormous drag on our economy, since it is small businesses that create most of our jobs. Not to mention that founders of small businesses often had to quit their regular jobs and give up their employee paid health insurance, either paying the formerly insanely high rates in the individual market, or going without.

It is great to see the business community lining up in support of health care reform.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    Is this article to counter NewsMax saying that Obamacare helps plan early death? Why is that not slander?

    Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 5:41 am | Permalink
  2. Morrius wrote:

    Reality has a well-know liberal bias.

    Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  3. russell wrote:

    WTF: The article is based on “anecdotal evidence” from insurance companies.

    Somebody explain this “tax break” please. In my business (a professional service corp), insurance premiums are untaxed overhead. Insurance companies simply hammer us with increased cost and reduced benefits. Inhumane to operate without it, but BY FAR our biggest operating expense and it has nearly tripled in the last decade!

    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 12:01 am | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Russell, there is “anecdotal” as in “my neighbor said she was fired because her employer couldn’t afford health care for her”. And there is “anecdotal” as in “several of the largest health insurance companies have reported significant jumps in the number of small businesses offering health insurance to their employees. Did you even read the article?

    And here, I’ll google that for you (the skinny on the small business health care tax credit):

    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 12:33 am | Permalink
  5. starluna wrote:

    Russell – I understand that insurance premiums are tax deductions at the federal level and often at the state level as well. Depending on the state you live in, small businesses also can receive tax credits to pay for insurance premiums.

    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  6. russell wrote:


    In simple terms our insurance premiums are overhead, no different accounting than paying the electric bill. Overhead is not taxed, our income after paying overhead is.

    My state has no income tax, but does have a business (“franchise”) tax. That is based on gross income, so it’s just a double-whammy: Revenue used for insurance is part of the tax basis, with no credit for expenses.

    Knee probably knows more about this, I am a simple engineer unable to comprehend accounting.

    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  7. Slapstick wrote:

    UHC insures over 75 million people. 75K is one tenth of one percent. A few possibilities for the small increase are that more than a few insurance companies have gone out of business. Others have reduced the types of policies they offer. Another is UHC and Coventry have been acquiring smaller companies at a blistering rate- in which case these “new” customers are NOT previously uninsured customers. Yet another possibility is that UHC stock is up over 12% since Feb. Maybe more people are investing in them and allowing them to grow.

    That whole Kansas City stat is even more useless than UHC and Coventry. Its one city (likely cherry picked). And what does the 58% represent in absolute numbers?

    What happened to the 32 million people this bill would “take care” of? What happened to my being able to keep the exact same policy I had before? What happened to costs going down?

    Look, if youre just a good hearted person and think that all Americans should be insured for medical expenses, then fine. Come out and say that and I will respect that opinion. I will likely not agree on how to go about making that happen, but I’ll respect your opinion. But dont come out and tell me we’re gonna insure 32 million more people AND it will be cheaper. This bill was sold to the public on false pretense…and even then, not a majority of the public. You know as well as I do that this bill is terrible. But you dont care because you know in order to “fix” it, we’ll all be on the public option within 15-20 years. I can only hope that eventually youll realize that just about everything the federal govt gets involved in is ruined and done very poorly and inefficiently at best.

    One more thing to consider. You might have a hard time admitting this, but deep down you know that this is how politics is played. The parts of this bill that will really be damaging dont go into affect for quite some time. I wonder why that is? Why is it that only the “rosy, shiny, feel good” parts of the bill like forcing companies to cover those with preexisting conditions and letting children stay on their parents plan till age 26 went into effect immediately?

    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  8. starluna wrote:

    Slapstick – I really don’t understand your argument. Did you lose your health insurance?

    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink
  9. Slapstick wrote:

    Whats not to understand? The numbers presented are meaningless and could have a ton of explanations, none of which deal with Obamacare “success”.

    And no, I didnt lose my insurance. My costs have gone up, and my plan had some adjustments made to it…but I didnt lose it.

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink
  10. starluna wrote:

    Guy – Then why are you asking about whether you can keep your same policy? It seems you have kept the same policy. I don’t know what you’ve heard, but no one who has been paying attention to this issue made the claim that costs were going to go down. The argument is that increases were going to slow down. Meaning that instead of a 15% increase, you’ll have a 12% increase.

    In terms of changes to the policy – is your health insurance provided by your employer?

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
  11. Slapstick wrote:

    No, I didnt keep the same policy. New, revised ones were offered through my employer.

    Increases are NOT slowing down.

    The following text is from an NPR article…..

    They assured the public that the almost fairy-tale scenario of insuring millions more while reducing costs could be achieved without reducing the quality of health care. In a typical statement, President Obama asserted last December that the proposed health-care plan was “deficit-neutral; it bends the cost curve; it covers 30 million Americans who don’t have health insurance.”

    That pretense survived, battered but mostly intact, until last week, when a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) report found that, post-Obamacare, health-care costs are rising: The annual rate of growth is now 6.3 percent, up 0.2 percentage point.

    When asked about this finding at his Friday press conference, Obama said, “Bending the cost curve on health care is hard to do. . . . We didn’t think that we were going to cover 30 million people for free.”

    In plain English: “You should have read the fine print.”

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
  12. starluna wrote:

    So, your employer negotiated new terms, as they are wont to do. That has nothing to do with HCR and likely would have happened regardless of the passage of HCR. It could have occurred because some new mandate was created in your state and the company needed to renegotiate to keep its costs under control. Or, more likely, the insurance company wanted to hike your premiums even higher and this was one way that your employer thought was reasonable to keep costs under control.

    First of all, the quote you provided is not from NPR but from a September 2010 National Review editorial ( National Review is a self-identified conservative magazine, so their characterization of HCR must be taken with a grain of salt.

    And even within the quote, without reading between the lines or in the fine print, it clearly states that the proposed reform (such as it was in December 2009) would “bend the cost curve.” Maybe you didn’t understand what that meant, but it was fairly clear to most people who actually paid attention that this referred to getting costs under control, not reducing the premiums that are now paid. I’m sorry you were mislead by your sources of information, but I wouldn’t expect National Review to give HCR a fair evaluation.

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink
  13. starluna wrote:

    Sorry, misled, not mislead.

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  14. Slapstick wrote:

    I suppose big corporations can say anything they want. And I suppose Obamacare was a convenient reason to raise costs and change plans offered. However, HCR and its future ramifications was the specific reason given.

    If the article is so conservative and wrong with their facts, then why did NPR republish it? Cause they’re fair, right? (rolls eyes) NPR is as liberal as they come.

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink
  15. starluna wrote:

    One thing I’ve noticed from my students of all ages is that accurately and critically consuming information in this new era of internet info-glut can be difficult. Since everyone over 35 has been trained in a print world, nothing looks like we’ve been trained to expect from news outlets. We need to pay more attention to things that we would never have had to in the past.

    If you notice from the NPR link, there is a little bar at the top that says: “Partner content from NRO”. Now, because NPR news is not the liberal bastion that many make it out to be, it actually reproduces content from conservative organizations. If you hover your mouse over the “NRO” link, you will see it links to National Review.

    You should also notice in the title it says, “National Review: Health Care Overhaul Isn’t Working,” which is another signal that this is from the National Review and not from NPR.

    Now, I will admit that the byline “by THE EDITORS” is not as clear as it could be. It really should have said, “by THE EDITORS OF NATIONAL REVIEW”. However, given all of the other signals in the article, a reader should have been clued into the fact that this was not NPR content.

    Moreover, all news organizations will put a copyright notice at the bottom of all of their own content. For example, if you had clicked on the related story link at the bottom of the NRO editorial (“Almost Here: Your New Health Care Benefits”) you would notice at the top and the bottom of the transcript, “Copyright © 2010 National Public Radio”. You don’t see that in your original link.

    I hope that if you continue to participate in these discussions, you learn to be a critical reader of the information you consume.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 9:05 am | Permalink
  16. russell wrote:

    Knee, I know what anecdotal means. The article relies on information that is anecdotal AND coming from insurance companies. C’mon.

    Of course I read the article, hence the comment.

    Thank you for the tax credit link. That says the credit does not apply at all if employees make >$50K.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  17. starluna wrote:

    Russell – it’s still worth looking into the credit. The calculation is based on the average FTE. So if there are a lot of part timers, your business may still qualify. I’d definitely recommend reading the instructions and the notice cited in the article. The IRS’s calculation of wages varies across different deductions and credits.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink
  18. Slapstick wrote:

    Yes ma’am. Thank you for the education.

    This is a hijack. My points are stated in post #7.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink
  19. starluna wrote:

    Slapstick – what does that mean, “this is a hijack”? Are you saying someone is using your handle?

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  20. Slapstick wrote:

    No, it meant the thread was being hijacked…getting way off topic.

    The points I wanted to make are in post #7.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
  21. starluna wrote:

    Ah, well that is how things sometimes go here. This blog is the best example of discourse I’ve come across. And discourse, like rivers that run free, sometimes wander.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink
  22. Iron Knee wrote:

    Slapstick, you did make some good points in post #7, but I also want to say that considering that Forbes tends to be a rather conservative rag, I thought it was funny that you would argue that they cherry picked evidence to make health care reform look good. Makes me think that you don’t like Forbes’ arguments mainly because they don’t agree with your existing beliefs. Keep an open mind.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

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