How the Proposed Health Care Reform May Affect Businesses

For years those who run the country have been demanding reform to the current health care system, without any significant or positive results occurring. However, due to President Barack Obama’s commitment to reforming the health care industry, this June, two Senate committees are beginning to draft legislation developing strategies that would make health insurance accessible to every American.

Public Health Option

One consideration being mulled by the U.S. government is providing a federally managed health plan in addition to the private health insurance that is already available to many. The proposed Senate bills may legally require employers to either pay a fee to the federal government for the proposed coverage or provide health insurance to their employees. As it stands now, most people with health insurance are covered under their employer as companies use the perk as a way to attract the best talent in their field.

Employer Mandate

Making health insurance a required business expense is called an “employer mandate.” Some companies encourage the new policy. Per a statement submitted to the Senate Finance Committee by 11 members of the Main Street Alliance, “If we’re contributing but other employers aren’t, that gives them a financial advantage over us. We need to level the playing field through a system where everyone pitches in a reasonable amount.” However, the National Federation of Independent Business claims that the move would slash 1.6 million jobs from an already contracted economy.

It is still too early to predict which way the reform cookie will crumble, but either way big changes are headed this way.