Friday, July 17, 2009

Putting a Face on Obamacare

For everyone who thinks Obamacare will be wonderful, it's time to put a face on the price tag.

One of the most egregious parts of Obamacare is the requirement that any company making $250,000 per year have health insurance for all employees or face an 8% tax to cover the expenses of putting those people in the public cesspool option.

It seems that $250,000 is a magic number for Democrats. That's when "the rich" kicks in. But there's a big difference between an individual who makes $250k per year and a company that does. You don't have to do a lot to make $250k as a company. Just have five to nine employees making $25,000 per year and you'll hit that limit quickly. Which is why Democrats put the limit so low. No more of that "50 employees" stuff. They want every hobby store owner, every restaurant owner, every person with a successful small business to prop up Obamacare.

But here are some real faces:

Consider Company A, which employs seven people: a manager, an assistant manager, and five workers. The owner pays himself a salary of $70,000 per year (about $35/hour), the manager $52,000 ($25/hour), the assistant manager $35,000 ($20/hour), and the five employees $21,000 (about $10/hour). That makes a payroll of $262,000. Now, the article doesn't say how much the fine for a payroll that size would be, so I'll assume either 6 percent ($15,720) or 4 percent ($10,480). The lowest total, as you can see, is more than half the salary of one of the worker bees and the higher figure is even worse. If I were running that business, I'd say the easiest way to solve my problem would be to fire one of the worker bees. That would reduce my payroll to escape the fine and it would leave me with more money as well. Sure, my business would be less productive, but it's not terribly difficult to get make up for that one lost employee by having my other six work a little bit harder.

In a bad economy, lots of businesses are laying off employees and making the others work overtime to make up the revenue. And other companies are reducing the number of hours employees work to as little as 33 hours per week in order to reduce payrolls.

Company A could be any nail salon, restaurant or convenience store in your neighborhood. The owner/manager isn't rich--he's making $70,000 per year. But the government has decided that running a successful small business makes you John D. Rockefeller.

The link has more examples, all businesses that we use or pass by every day. Dry cleaners. Fast food outlets. Veterinarians. Doughnut shops. Obamacare isn't just going to hurt those businesses. It will crush them.

This is not a healthcare solution we can afford, but the only way to stop it is for everybody to contact their representatives and tell them "no" now. Regardless of how you think current health care is run, the alternative Democrats want to give you is far, far worse.