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Changes to the Baucus Health Care Bill That Impact Small Employers

Posted by: Nick Leiber on September 21, 2009

The AP reports the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee was revising his health care bill today. From the story:

The changes came a day ahead of a committee session beginning Tuesday to amend and vote on the bill, which Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., hopes his panel will approve by the end of the week.

The 10-year, $856 billion package would extend coverage to about 29 million Americans who lack it now and institute insurance market reforms, such as prohibiting higher premiums for women or the denial of coverage to sick people. It would make almost everyone buy insurance or pay a fee, give subsidies to the poor to help them buy coverage and create new online exchanges where small businesses and people without government or employer-provided insurance could shop for plans and compare prices.

See John Tozzi’s previous health care reform coverage here.

Reader Comments

Carol Cross

September 22, 2009 11:36 AM

Over at Mother Jones, they are indicating that the age discrimination in terms of higher premiums for older workers 47 to 67 will not be restrained by this bill.

Again, the entrepreneurial sector of small business retail that is dominated by franchisors whose franchisees are older workers and whose workers are low-paid on an hourly basis will not get much in the way of relief.

The hope that Associations who could negotiate lower premiums could form across State Lines will not sit well with the Insurance Commissioners of the States ---will it? Even though franchisors are regulated by the federal government, their franchisees operate within the states and are sub ject to state laws.

Looks like Baucus has taken care of the franchisors and they won't have any obligation to solve this problem that would in any way impact on their bottom lines.

Another Big Business Bill for the people? Health care costs will not be restrained because there will be no competition and those who take their great profits right off of the top will continue to do so.

Keith Sarbaugh

September 22, 2009 12:57 PM

When will we de-couple health insurance from business? I am in business and should not be burdend with providing health care. It limits choices by employees and therefore limites competition. None of these bills address one of the biggest problems with how things are run today and that is health care tied to your job. The first law they should pass is to make it illegal for business to provide health care.

Lola Brimhall

September 24, 2009 12:35 PM

I remember a time when the health care system functioned well, insurance and medical services were affordable, medical expenses were 100% deductible on the Form 1040, and GOVERNMENT WAS MUCH LESS INVOLVED. Besides burdening businesses and further complicating health care issues, the greatest harm from these bills is the destruction of multiple, basic constitutional protections we have enjoyed as Americans. The answer is backing government out of health care, not making it all-powerful.

Carol Cross

September 24, 2009 6:40 PM

But, of course, Lola, you are remembering your own experience, and not the experience of the 50 million Americans who have no health insurance because they can't afford it, and the other millions who have inadequate health insurance because this is all that they can afford, and the other thousands who can't buy health insurance for preexisting conditions?

Medicare has been a successful government program. It is the fraud against Medicare that is perpetuated by the dishonest doctors and patients and ignored by the big Insurance Contractors that has made Medicare a target of the big corporate interests who want to defeat any national health care initiative and continue to treat health care as merely product (not a constitutional right)upon which to maximize their profits.

Fraud is rampant in the delivery of health care and in schemes in which doctors and insurance companies and attorneys and patients are often involved. and defraud each other.

Why can't the United States, like the other free and democratic nations of the World, treat health care like a constitutional right as do these other nations? Why can't our Justice Department and State Law Enforcement protect health care against fraud in both the public and the private plans?

Fortune Magazine recently published an article about health care fraud in Las Vegas that is an eye opener. but the Congress just wants to make matters worse by protecting both the medical profession and the legal profession agaist malpractice claims. These big lobbies always get their way with the Congress.

Instead of trying to stop the bad practices with new laws that recognize the realities of universal health coverage, the insurance companies want to protect the status quo and reduce the payouts on malpractice awards instead of reducing malpractice by taking away the right to practice of those who too often have bad results that result in lawsuits from Amnericans who are injured. Good drivers are rewarded with lower insurance costs. Why shouldn't doctors (and attorneys) be held to standards and good doctors rewarded with lower insurance premiums ----and bad doctors deprived of the right to practice after too many bad results no matter how high their insurance premiums might be.

If the Government were any less involved, there would be many millions more who would not have health insurance because, of course, the government provides health coverage and/or health insurance for government workers, the men and women of the Armed Forces, the retired Armed Forces, the retired government workers, the active duty Reserve Forces and National Guard, the injured and disabled Veterans, and the Congress of the United States.
The answer is NOT to back government out of healthcare but to have the private sector cooperate with the goal of Universal Health Care for all of our citizens.

If the biggest capitalistic nation in the World can't figure out how to deliver health care to its citizens, isn't this a failure of capitalism?

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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