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Third Base Politics


Strickland should have read the bill.

When Strickland said he wished he was still in Congress so he could have voted for Obamacare, he highlighted how it would help small businesses and cover kids.

Well, not so much.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Quote from video:
Businesses with fewer than 25 employees that pay an average of no more than $40,000 will get a tax credit – up to 35 percent of the company’s share of their total health care premium.

Companies with 26-49 workers are unaffected.

Businesses with 50 or more workers must offer coverage or pay $750 per worker. That penalty applies for every employee if even one signs up for government-subsidized insurance.

But there are potential problems. Case in point: It would be much cheaper for Dick Bus to drop the generous coverage he now offers and take the hit at $750 a head for his 120 workers. The penalty would be $90,000 a year. He’s currently spending $480,000.

Bus would save $390,000, but canceling his plan would force his workers to the health plan exchange and could cost more than they’re paying now. The Senate is considering an increase in the $750 penalty to prevent that scenario.

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air explains the issue perfectly. Check it out:

Bus insists that he won’t cut his employees loose, which is certainly noble, but unrealistic. If his competitors do it and lower their costs, allowing them to lower prices on their products and services, Bus will have to follow suit or go out of business. Small businesses already operate on tight margins, and this will be an easy business decision for those companies, at least when their CEO isn’t on camera.

In an otherwise good and balanced report, CBS misses another strange incentive. As listed above, small businesses only become eligible for the credits if their average salary remains below $40,000. That means a decision to give raises not only carries the cost of the raise itself to the business, but also a potential loss of that 35% subsidy ObamaCare grants. This will have the overall effect of suppressing salaries and putting experienced workers at a disadvantage in hiring decisions. It also provides an incentive to keep the workforce under 26 people; the 26th hire eliminates that 35% subsidy as well, making it a very expensive new position.

ObamaCare sets all of its incentives to oppose growth. Can anyone wonder at the impact this will have on the economy?

One other anti-growth incentive, businesses with 50-60 workers have a big incentive now to downsize.

And this is the bill Strickland claims will help small businesses grow? This is the bill that will help Ohioans? Ridiculous.

But it doesn’t end with small businesses. What about the highly touted coverage for kids?

Hours after President Barack Obama signed historic health care legislation, a potential problem emerged. Administration officials are now scrambling to fix a gap in highly touted benefits for children.

Obama made better coverage for children a centerpiece of his health care remake, but it turns out the letter of the law provided a less-than-complete guarantee that kids with health problems would not be shut out of coverage.

Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main congressional panels that wrote the bill Obama signed into law Tuesday.

This is what happens when you rush a bill through. This is what happens when you refuse to compromise with the other side.

This is the mess Ted Strickland has happily joined.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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