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Good for business, bad for cost control

The recent commentary, “Federal health law could thin the ranks of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs” published Jan 20, on the Affordable Care Act killing small business and entrepreneurs needs rebuttal.

The false claim that affordable health care is bad for business defies the facts and common sense.

First, the ACA does not apply to “small business.” The employer mandate only applies to companies with more than 50 employees. Over 80 percent of Wisconsin businesses are exempt.

Second, everyone benefits from covering more people with health insurance. This will improve the overall health of the workforce. Wisconsin small businesses, many of which do not cover their employees, will benefit from their employees getting coverage with the ACA.

Third, health care costs have been going up for decades. The ACA may not help that problem, but it definitely is not the cause of cost increases. High costs are caused, in large part, by the inefficiency of our for-profit system. For example, 20 percent to 30 percent overhead typical of private insurance compared to 3 percent for Medicare.

What would help business is a universal, single payer, national insurance program. This would remove employment from the picture. It would allow small businesses to compete more effectively for quality employees. It would free true entrepreneurs to take the risk of starting a company without risking their family’s health care. And single payer is the most logical way to control costs for everyone.

The ACA has its problems, but being bad for business is not one of them.