Delay doesn't diminish business disdain for health law
Posted July 3, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Even with a one-year delay for a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, North Carolina businesses continued to criticize the national health care reform law on Wednesday.
The White House unexpectedly announced Tuesday that businesses with at least 50 employees have until January 2015 to provide health insurance to their workers or face a fine. The mandate was supposedly take effect next January, but the Obama administration relented after small businesses nationwide complained about the cost and complexity of the law.
The North Carolina Chamber believes businesses need more time to understand the financial impact of the law.
"Health care is a top-of-mind issue for North Carolina businesses, cited as one of the key costs impacting job creation and retention," Gary Salamido, the chamber's vice president of government affairs, said in a statement. "As the ACA is coming to bear, many businesses are beginning to incur greater costs. However, they do not know what the health care costs are going to be in the next few years. This uncertainty is a large factor in growing the employment base."
Schulz Iron Works in Raleigh is holding back on hiring even though its business is up by 30 percent.
Vice President David Schulz said the company could easily add 12 to 15 people to its 39-person payroll, but there are no plans to hire them because of the Affordable Care Act.
"I never want to show that I go over 50 (employees) even if I need them," Schulz said. "What I had to do was be smarter and sub out a division of the project to another company."
The company, which peaked at 75 workers before the recession, dropped employee health coverage four years ago because of the cost, he said.
"We just couldn't afford to provide it," he said. "It's my dream to provide health care for the men, but the economy won't allow us to provide it."