Small businesses confused about health care ruling

Businesses fear that health care could cost them more

SAN ANTONIO - With the Supreme Court’s ruling on President Obama’s health care plan leaving many surprised, the question loomed: What happens next?

Small businesses are just part of the equation, but could be on the front line of the issue. For many business owners, the court decision has brought about a state of confusion.

"As a business person, I don't know, because it’s kind of confusing,” said Wayne Beers, W.D. Deli owner, and personal supporter of widespread health care.

Beers employs 12 people, including two full-time employees that he provides insurance for.

"We're paying out the nose for insurance. So if we can cover everybody for just a little more, then that'd be great,” said Beers.

Still he remained unsure what the next step would be.

That same uneasy feeling could be found just down Broadway at Gibson Costume Shop.

"It’s real hard right now to keep the doors open," said General Manager Sandra Torres. "To have another expense added to our bills already, that would be a big blow to any small business."

Torres believed the Affordable Health Care Act was not good for her business, nor any other.

As it turns out, the outlook for businesses like W.D. Deli and Gibson Costume Shop may not be as dire.

"They're panicking because they're thinking they're going to be required to offer insurance and they're not,” said Grace Jaen, an employee benefits analyst.

According to Jaen, any business with fewer than 50 employees is considered a “small business” and would not be required to provide insurance for its employees, nor pay a penalty. However, she believed small businesses must be proactive.

"Now that they have the green light that this is going to happen, they need to make sure they have an advisor stand by them and instruct them on the next steps of what to do."

Meanwhile, confusion amongst small business and big businesses alike is expected to continue.


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