Nov. 09, the Register’s Opinion pages published opposing views on health care
reform ["Is it time to dismantle health reform law?"],
one of which mentioned Orange County Business Council research by Wallace
Walrod. OCBC’s report, cited in the piece by Daniel Zingale of the California
Endowment, was an initial assessment compiled to understand how health care
reform, its costs and benefits will impact California businesses, which can be
the vast majority of the California business community, OCBC and its members
are still assessing the true impacts. Our research found that there may be
benefits, but there are still many questions, costs and concerns.??
shares the concerns voiced by the author of the companion piece [HERE], Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research
Institute, about how reform will be implemented. For example, a primary concern
of the business community is uncertainty regarding employer insurance costs.
Early estimates of impacts range from moderate to severe.??
concern expressed by many businesses focused on so-called "Cadillac
Plan" taxes that hit businesses, but not unions. "Cadillac
Plans" refer to employer-sponsored health insurance benefits that exceed
$10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for a family. California employers rely on
generous medical benefits to help attract and retain top employees. Many
factors, such as having an older worker population or being located in a
high-cost metropolitan area, are not under an employer’s control.??
areas of concern include: coverage of adult children of employees until the age
of 26 (a practice 6 percent of companies now offer); auto-enrollment of new
hires (12 percent of companies do this); coverage of part-time workers, which
may actually cause businesses to stop hiring; and the effect on state and
federal budgets (costs are primarily front-loaded, projected benefits come over
as mentioned by Ms. Pipes, the effect of the IRS Form 1099 requirement for
every vendor with more than $600 in annual business expenses is especially
burdensome for small California businesses.??
full OCBC report is posted at www.ocbc.org/research.cfm We will conduct
further research to expand and refine these findings.??
are many outstanding questions yet to be addressed before any health care
reform can be implemented successfully in California. Our initial research was
just the beginning, educating both pro-reform advocates as well as opponents.
In a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty and record high unemployment,
dialogue based upon facts is key.