Economic Recovery and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Collide
10/13/2011

The health reform fiasco and down economy put the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at risk. Businesses and workers are dealing with a lot of uncertainty. They face tough decisions on benefits as they look to find affordable health insurance.

Online PR News – 13-October-2011 – – No one seems to know what will be next in the health reform fiasco. What will this mean for millions of Americans and their health insurance? What will this mean for the economy as a whole?

“It’s not a major secret that the American economy is rapidly going nowhere, although it is mightily struggling to overcome the downward spiral that seems to be looming,” commented Clelland Green, RHU, CEO, and president of Benepath in Pennsylvania. “This stalled economy is not something the economic pundits expected because during 2009 and into early 2010 the economy was looking up and seemed to be recovering. It wasn’t stunning progress, but progress nonetheless.”

The media were enthusiastically reporting that the jobless rate was declining and the government indicated unemployment would likely drop to 7.5 percent by 2012. Things were indeed looking good, and even the private sector was starting to reawaken. Recovery was a word on many people’s optimistic lips. With roughly 67,000 jobs a month being created in early spring, it was hard not to crack a smile in anticipation of having work.

And then May came, job growth plummeted to less than 50,000 net jobs and the private sector began turning in dismal numbers with an average a total of 6,500 jobs. Economists, job seekers and the government looked at those figures in stunned silence and wondered what happened. The President chalked it up to just bad luck. But was it? “Or was there another reason tied to political goings-on in the White House?” asked Green.

“Take a look at the timing of the halt in job creation,” suggested Green, “because it coincides with when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed. Are these things connected? It would be hard to think they are not since the private sector stopped creating jobs almost before the ink on the act dried.”

While it was actually two months before the drop was noticed, the job growth trend ominously continued to plunge. This was odd, as before the Act’s passage there were signs that thousands of jobs would be created and now many feel the U.S. economy is in shambles.

“Perhaps some might find it far-fetched to think the Act and the drop in the employment numbers are linked, but think about this,” said Green, “the Act will dramatically hike the cost of doing business. Any business with over 50 employees must provide government approved health coverage or they pay a penalty. Those firms with fewer than 50 on staff will make certain they do not hire the worker number 50.”

Pundits are indicating the new law has created untold difficulties for businesses trying to plan for the future, and this is related to not knowing what the large group health care industry will be like in five years. In other words, how much will cost to insure workers in the future? No one knows, and this uncertainty makes employers hesitate to hire workers.

To add even more anxiety to the uncertainty is a plethora of questions that no one can answer. For instance, what if a company has a variety of small businesses, and they each have fewer than 50 people, but the total is more than the limit. Will they face a penalty? Will a business get a waiver or not?

“I hate to say this again, but no one knows, not even the tax people, and if the tax people don’t know, how do they figure small business is going to know?” commented Green. “If you were trying to start a new business and could not get answers to critical questions, would you be in a hurry to proceed? Likely not.”

For those that have their doubts about the correlation between the passage of this act and the stalled job market, consider the most recent survey of small business owners who said the act was one of the main barriers to hiring. If the economy is to be kick started again, perhaps it is time to think about repealing the act. To learn more, visit http://www.benepath.com. Benepath is the leading provider of affordable health insurance quotes. Visitors to Benepath.com can get health insurance quotes from top rated insurance companies in all of the United States.

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