Small business owners unclear on health care impact

Bruce Horovitz and Laura Petrecca
USA Today
3/24/2010

About as far as you can mosey from the health care reform heat of Washington, D.C., sits Avogadro’s Number, a quirky sub shop in Fort Collins, Colo., where you get a free veggie sub on Mondays for each one you buy.

That freebie sub is darned important at a time when folks are pinching pennies. So, too, is health care reform.

As far as shop owner Rob Osborne is concerned, the historic health care reform package that President Obama plans to sign into law Tuesday, is a lot like Osborne’s sub sandwiches: A little bit of this. A little bit of that. And, in the end, made to look digestible.

So Osborne is holding his nose and is willing to bite — even swallow — health care reform, even though he suspects it’s going to hurt his shop’s bottom line, and he may have to raise prices.

“My feeling is: No action is worse than some action,” says Osborne, 55, who has owned the shop for 30 years that employs 35 workers to whom he does not provide health care. “In principle, people should have health care. They’ve got to take a stab at it somewhere. But from a practical standpoint, I don’t really know what’s going on.”…

…Even though many parts of the overhaul still have to be sorted out, there are plenty of small-business owners who are already against the plan. Among those is Keith Ashmus, partner at Frantz Ward, a law firm in Cleveland. While his company has long-supported health care reform, he says it’s against this one because of what he calls “insufficient attention to cost controls.”

He says it will increase premiums for 80 of his 110 employees who participate in the company’s health care plan. And he particularly doesn’t like the “Cadillac” tax on generous health care plans. “It will be a nightmare to calculate,” he says….

The entire article is at USA Today.

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