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Letter: Health insurance mandate will hurt some small businesses

Now that health insurance has been deemed mandatory, it is time to think about unintended consequences, particularly related to small and seasonal businesses and summer jobs.

Small businesses will now have to calculate and file reports to show if they are at the 50 "equivalent" full time employees. Total hours worked divided by 30 gives the number of "equivalent" full time employees. If a small business has 49 full time employees, that 50th employee is going to cost a lot to hire because now they have to provide health insurance. A small business with just over 50 employees may have to cut staff or hours to get under the 50 full time "equivalent" employees.

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Small local companies provide many first jobs. The fast food industry and other franchise operations come to mind. Each is independently owned so they will face these situations. Will they cut staff or hours? They will do what they have to do to make money and stay in business. These are the type of jobs many high school and college age young people work at.

Another item in the legislation is that it provides subsidies to companies with less than 50 employees to encourage them to provide health insurance. How many businesses of that size will be willing to take on the added costs of their share of insurance premiums? With any government money comes attached strings and reporting. Will those companies be willing to take that on as well? It makes a good sound bite, but not much business sense.

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This is what results when legislation is pushed through in a hurry without thinking through all the ramifications.

David Nace

Columbia

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