Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
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by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu June 28 2012 12:57:11

Supreme Court Ruling on Healthcare Affects Small Retailers

By: Ina Steiner

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Today's Supreme Court ruling upholds the "individual mandate" provision of the controversial 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The healthcare law's provision requires most Americans to maintain "minimum essential" health insurance coverage. For those who are not exempt, and who do not receive health insurance through an employer or government program, the means of satisfying the requirement is to purchase insurance from a private company.

Beginning in 2014, those who do not comply with the mandate must make a "shared responsibility payment" to the Federal Government payable to the Internal Revenue Service with their taxes.

The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association expressed concern on the law's impact on employers in separate statements issued today. The NRF said it would be difficult to implement and administer, and RILA said there were, as of yet, no meaningful implementation guidelines available for employers.

Whether you agree with the law or not, we'd like to know how the law will actually impact you as individuals and as small businesses. It's difficult to keep the politics and emotions out of it, but please try to as you comment on how the law - especially the mandate to have health insurance - impacts you and whether you even understand the new requirements.  




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by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 13:20:06 2012

The requirement that free Americans buy a product from a private company is the beginning of enslavement of the American people to the government.

Without a public option to obtain coverage through the government it's a fatally flawed ruling.

I can't wait to see what happens next.  

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by: chargeback101 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 14:09:30 2012

With the instability of feeBay's selling environment, most small sellers have trouble buying groceries, let alone health insurance. Maybe we can pass a law to force Americans to buy goods on eBay from US sellers, or get fined.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Jun 28 14:25:19 2012

Best solution: Single payer public option. Bring costs down, and maybe American corporations will be able to afford to hire American workers. I'm delighted that it we're on the road to making healthcare affordable and available to all. It's not perfect, but it's better than before.

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by: rstpete This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 14:58:40 2012

If the government runs it - it will cost MORE and do less with huge delays and demands.  I feel it is another step in the demise of this country let alone the small businesses.  

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by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 16:05:55 2012

The real problem is things that you don't have to pay for have no value.  If there were taco insurance I would be in the taco business, and tacos would be $120 each.

That's why an MRI costs $1,500 and cancer surgery might cost $80,000.  You don't care, you *can't* pay.

If there were no insurance, if medical insurance were just illegal, you would show up at the hospital and it would go like this:

''Hm.  Steevo's in the lobby.  I hope he's not sick.  Wonder what we can get him to pay?  You think he'll go $1,000?  Maybe he has $2,000?''  

They would have to keep you there and keep you happy or they would not be needed.  They would have to charge you an amount you would be willing and able to pay.

If they couldn't keep you there, paying, we could tear down the hospital and build a parking lot. Their whole operation would be worthless.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: basset

Thu Jun 28 16:29:49 2012

I'm with you, Annie... this is just a start to a much needed overhaul of healthcare in the USA, there will be LOTS of issues to work out when it is implemented. Instead of working together to solve the issues that have been going on for years, it has been politicized and what we have left is the outcome  of partisanship in Washington.

But it is a start.

I've worked with Medicaid caseloads in the past & there are SO many out there who meet the low income guidelines but do not meet their state's eligibility requirements for medical assistance.

Common Example:  Single middle age individual with no dependent children in the home, unemployed for whatever reason, unemployment benefits ran out, no income coming in - has chest pain & goes to the ER to sit in line with the emergencies & the other uninsured folks with colds & flu. ER verifies heart attack & treats individual, they live & are discharged but need ongoing care.   They apply for Medicaid but are denied because they do not meet their states' qualifying factors like a dependent  child, age 65, receiving SSDI (social security disability), etc.... SO, even if they are living in poverty it does not mean they are eligible for Medicaid. Next time the chest pains hit, back to the only option ER. The most expensive primary care in the USA. And we are all paying for it. You can call the money that pays for this  taxes, or insurance premiums but the money is still being hemorrhaged into a broken medical system.

It will be a long journey, with lots of fights & ''glitches'' (we're used to those, aren't we:) It won't be pretty in implementation - but it is a start. And getting rid of the ''pre-existing conditions'' clauses are a very good start - too bad it doesn't take effect until 2014.



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by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 16:59:44 2012

Bassett said:
''too bad it doesn't take effect until 2014. ''

No kidding. I think Obama hoped to be gone by the time it kicked in, or at least not be running for re-election.  He got what he wanted.

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by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 18:26:52 2012

If anyone thinks that this is in any way a solution (or even the beginning of one) has their heads in the sand (or more appropriately, stuck where the sun doesn't shine). Tell me, how many families of 4 making $45,000 a year can afford to spend $800 a month or more on health care insurance? Well guess what people, that's what's in this law and if you don't buy the insurance, they'll jack your taxes up by even more than that per month!!! You call that a solution??????????

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This user has validated their user name. by: basset

Thu Jun 28 19:05:11 2012

A family of 4 @$45K should be able to get in one of the proposed exchanges for a better rate than $800. There are several news sites that have a ''how does this affect me'' calculator listed for folks to plug in their family size, income, etc... to see estimated annual cost. I plugged in a 4 person family at $45K and the maximum annual cost was 1800 - 2835 (150 to 236 per month for basic coverage) Of course this info can't possibly be firm at this point. The quicker they work out the details and get the info to people, the better. The unknown just causes fear.

If states do not cooperate in setting up the exchanges, it will become dicey but eventually something will have to give because most families of 4 at $45K cannot afford an $800 premium and neither can a two person household of 55+ can afford a high premium. In this economy that should be obvious.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Jun 28 19:21:07 2012

Apparently some of you find the requirement that car owners buy insurance to be enslavement.

There is ample historical precedence for this. History -- it like knowledge is a magical thing -- study it before spouting political propaganda learned from listening to too much right wing radio while you work.

Some of you may not be aware that in the prior decade a certain political party pushed through legislation prohibiting the discharge of medical bills or student loans if you declare bankruptcy.

Gee, who benefits from that? The health insurance companies that pay their CEOs billions of dollars and the banksters who handle student loans - two of the largest donors to this certain political party.

Now that's enslavement!

What we really need in this country is single payer health insurance. Put everyone on Medicare and ask the rich and super rich to pay their fair share of taxes to help for it.

So I think a few hundred a month vs a lifetime of debt from unexpected medical bills is a bargain. Yes, it might mean cutting back on cable TV, or beer, or whatever.

There was a time early on when  ebay offered health insurance to sellers. ANyone else remember that?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Jun 28 19:21:46 2012

If Sen. Bernie Sanders likes it, then it's good enough for me. If it makes Boehner cry, then it makes me happy. ~ On a lighter note, I had to chuckle today at all the tweets from the angry Teabaggers who are threatening to ''move to Canada''. Really? Canada? Oh well, see-ya! So long! Enjoy the free health care and marriage equality when you get there.

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This user has validated their user name. by: basset

Thu Jun 28 19:29:21 2012

I've always wondered about the origin of making employers responsible for employees health insurance. IMO, employers should be concerned about creating safe jobs and managing their company in a profitable manner & maybe give their employees a raise now & then. Our health insurance should NOT be any of their business. It should be completely separate from employment conditions.

Age discrimination was partially a by-product of making insurance employers responsibility. I've known people who had severely disabled children who were TRAPPED working for an employer because the pre-existing condition clauses  of changing  insurance prevented them from taking new and better employment with a different company.

Perhaps the thought was that employers could hold employees captive with health insurance.
I've always thought the single payer model was fairest & makes the most sense, but it looks like we will probably be taking the long route to get there.

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by: lonestar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 23:32:20 2012

I think a single payer system is a better way to go, and maybe we'll get there in the future.  I'm happy we've taken a step in the right direction.

The impact on small businesses won't be as bad as some think.  To listen to the critics one would think the sky is falling.  The fact is that with more people paying into the system, the lower the costs.  We can lower costs even more with 100% participation.

For those who think they can't afford insurance, try paying out of pocket when you have an accident, get cancer, have a baby born with health issues, etc.  You will be bankrupt in a NY minute.

The law isn't perfect, but finally we are starting to catch up with the rest of the civilized world.

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by: DR Scarlett This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 23:39:20 2012

Of course, the Supreme Court only ruled that Congress has the constitutional right to levy a tax which is what this law is.  They make no determination as to the advisability or prudence of this legislation, only that Congress has the right enact it.

It is the people that have the right to say whether the politicians that enacted this law should continue to hold a job that they can use to enact such legislation.  How they voted on the issue is a matter of public record and their job performance is up for review every time their seat comes up for re-election.  Voters can have long memories so those that voted for it had best hope it works.  

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by: buyitwholesale This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jun 28 23:39:40 2012

I'm on the White House mailing list and they sent an email this evening with the following link...I happen to agree with the ruling and the policy for all kinds of reasons, but even for those who don't (or don't know whether they do or not) there seems to be a good deal of useful information here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/28/supreme-court-u
pholds-president-obamas-health-care-reform?utm_source=email168&utm_medium=text1&utm_campaign=healthcare

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by: JeffP This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 23:47:04 2012

"Apparently some of you find the requirement that car owners buy insurance to be enslavement."......

That has to be the most stupid comment I've read.

I don't have to buy car insurance! If I choose not to drive, I'm not required to to buy insurance. Driving is not a right it's a privilege, and if I want to drive I must abide by the law.

I have no choice in this matter what so ever. The floodgates are now open for the government to "TAX" anything they feel like.  This country is doomed, thanks to the nut job liberals. Our country has lost tens of thousands of soldiers in the past 250 years fighting for our freedom and today it seems it was all for nothing.

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by: DR Scarlett This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 23:51:03 2012

Alas, Lonestar, there are people that have paid into the system all their working lives that have to use attorneys to get what they've paid for all that time.  Of course, I suppose a private sector insurance company in more highly motivated than the Social Security Administration ever was.  Wasn't that sold to the people as a ''step in the right direction?''

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by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 29 00:34:15 2012

As a small business owner in New York State, this is good news for me. I've been looking for affordable insurance for myself. While there are some great plans out there, they are not available for people like me in New York. Insurance is REALLY expensive here. I am glad the ruling went in favor of the Health Care reformation.

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This user has validated their user name. by: TheCheapSkirt

Fri Jun 29 01:58:14 2012

Here too, Will. In Texas, 50% of employers don't offer health insurance and 1 in 3 working adults are outpriced from having insurance.

Our governor would not set up exchanges so small employers could buy into plans at reasonable rates. Because rates vary from state to state, they are ridiculous here.

I was quoted a $200/mo policy for a single healthy woman... but it had a $20,000 deductible. Reasonable plans were closer to $800 a month. For one person. My COBRA from when I had a job was $950/mo. For one person. That is more than I make some months!

A lot of people in other states have insurance through their employers and don't realize their employer subsidizes it. I worked for 20 years in payroll and benefits for large companies and public employers, so I've seen first-hand people who think their insurance costs $75/mo because that is what is withheld from their paycheck. They don't realize their employer kicks in the other 80% of that premium amount to the insurance company.

Plus, large companies can negotiate lower rates than small companies or sole proprietors.

So I think there are a lot of people who don't understand what it is like to be outpriced from obtaining health insurance. And in turn, having little or no access to healthcare.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: TheCheapSkirt

Fri Jun 29 02:01:30 2012

At any rate, to answer the question posed in the article:

I don't have 50 employees so the law does not affect me as an employer. Only as a human being who has been unable to see a doctor for six years now.  

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