Healthcare Reform 1 Year Later: What It Means for Small Businesses

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

It’s been a year since the president signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, and it’s time to take stock of what it has meant for small businesses.

We know it’s hard to keep up with what’s happening with healthcare reform these days. The new law is complicated. The debate is heated, still. And entrepreneurs are busy with the day-to-day demands of running their businesses. So we wanted to shine some light on the situation during this anniversary week with forums, roundtable discussions and webinars about what is in the act for small business.

And the fact is, there’s a lot the act-signed into law on March 23, 2010-has to offer small business owners. There are tax credits available right now for 4 million small business owners. Self-employed people who couldn’t get insurance because of preexisting conditions can now get coverage through temporary high-risk pools. And by 2014, the law calls on states to create health insurance marketplaces that will allow small business owners to combine their buying power and drive down the cost of health insurance plans.

Entrepreneurs across the country already are cashing in on the benefits. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, tax credits gave Mark Hodesh the confidence he needed to hire another employee for his Downtown Home and Garden shop. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, those credits mean John Crandall, owner of Old Town Bike Shop, can lower his employees’ contribution to the premium-essentially putting money back in their pockets. And Dave Harper, owner of Harper Engineering in Cleveland, Ohio, is getting money back that he plans to invest in computer equipment for his business.

Without the law, Mark, John and Dave, along with countless other small employers who have benefited over the past year, wouldn’t have seen these benefits. In fact, their situation could be much worse. An economic analysis Small Business Majority released, based on modeling by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, found that without reform, small business owners would shell out $2.4 trillion to cover healthcare costs by 2018, and 178,000 small business jobs and $52.1 billion in profits would evaporate.

That thought is enough to make anyone hoping for economic recovery sick.

While some continue playing politics in hopes of obfuscating the facts about the Affordable Care Act, we want to make sure small business owners know what is in the law for them. That’s why we have organized events across the country this week to discuss the impact the act is having on American small businesses. Take a look at the rundown of events and see if there is anything in there you want to participate in.

Being in the know makes sense for your bottom line.

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