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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:50 AM

US Business Hits Out At ‘Obamacare’ Costs

By Barney Jopson in New York and Alan Rappeport in Washington

US retailers and restaurants chains that employ millions of low-wage workers are considering cutting working hours or paying fines rather than enrolling employees in health insurance plans under Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law.

Employers are concerned that the law increases the cost of insuring employees on existing plans, partly by broadening the range of benefits. It also requires companies to insure some employees not previously covered.

David Dillon, chief executive of the Kroger supermarket chain, told the Financial Times that some companies might opt to pay a government-mandated penalty for not providing insurance because it was cheaper than the cost of coverage.

Nigel Travis, head of Dunkin’ Brands, said his doughnut chain was lobbying to change the definition of “full-time” employees eligible for coverage from those working at least 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week.


http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b2bce37c-7644-11e2-8eb6-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2LMQJNyIU

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:59 AM

1. This was inevitable

Single payer now.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:03 AM

2. Remember this the next time some business

says that their employees are their most valuable assets.

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Response to cloudbase (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:10 AM

4. Why do you think business should be responsible for their employees health care?

I believe the USA is the ONLY country that seems to believe this is how it should be... It sure makes American business less competetive with business from other countries...Health care is a MAJOR expense for American business and it should not be so.. The main purpose of government is to "Maintain the Health and Welfare of the Nation" Business's main purpose is to make a Profit and Provide a Service...

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Response to Bandit (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:48 PM

5. Businesses can't function without American citizens working to make them successful.

 

Why would you give them a free pass?

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Response to railsback (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:58 PM

7. I believe its long past time to detach health care from employment.

Anything that moves us faster towards single payer the better imho.

When we reach a critical mass of mid-level and high-level employees who are no longer insured, there may be some real pressure from that angle. Its going to take many factors before it happens but having companies drop their employees coverage is one part of it that should move the process along quicker.

And yes, I recognize there will be short term pain but our current system of health care delivery and availability is unsustainable...

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:07 PM

11. That's how every other developed country does it but there's resistance from both the left and right

The right looks at detaching health care from employment as 'socialism'. The current system makes people more dependent on businesses since not just their wages but their family's health care depends on the employer. Corporations undoubtedly like having their employees more dependent on them rather than less.

The left does not want to let employers off the hook for an expense that they have been shouldering for decades.

For international trade employer-based health care makes it more difficult for American companies to compete with European companies whose products do not include an expense for employee health care.

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Response to railsback (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:01 PM

9. But placing the responsibility on businesses has numerous consequences

For example, a business with more older employees will have higher per-employee health costs.

Doing it this way causes discrimination against older employees and those who seem less healthy. A business might not like the situation, but businesses compete against other businesses. It's a reality that good ethics don't always cause you to win economically.

Businesses should pay part of the costs, but part of the costs on a pooled basis. A business should have the freedom to hire a 60 year old who's best for the job without worrying if their health insurance costs are going to double.

Employment-tied health insurance hasn't worked well for the US, and it is time to change this system.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:33 PM

12. Well, certainly

 

My angle is that since businesses rely on workers for their success, then they should have some responsibility to make sure their workers are receiving care. Of course, single payer, like the rest of the civilized world, is where we should be.

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Response to Bandit (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:55 PM

6. I suppose businesses shouldn't provide unemployment insurance, workman's comp nor

should they collect and pay withholding tax payments either. It's so inconvenient.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:07 AM

3. Did these businesses support the public option, which would've helped drive costs down?

How do they feel about universal healthcare, which would relieve them of paying for their employees completely?

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Response to magellan (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:00 PM

8. I'm hoping they're finally starting to wake up. That detaching health care from employment

is actually a win win for them (and us).

If they haven't thought about it before, they are now.

And that's a good thing.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:03 PM

10. God forbid they don't make an extra billion in profits this quarter.

The CEO might have to downgrade his new private jet from the Gulfstream 4 to the Gulfstream 3!

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