Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 15, 2009


Wall Street Journal - House Democrats unveiled sweeping health-care legislation that would hit all but the smallest businesses with a penalty equal to 8% of payroll if they fail to provide health insurance to workers. . .

Under the House measure, employers with payrolls exceeding $400,000 a year would have to provide health insurance or pay the 8% penalty. Employers with payrolls between $250,000 and $400,000 a year would pay a smaller penalty, and those less than $250,000 would be exempt. Certain small firms would get tax credits to help buy coverage.

The relatively low thresholds for penalties triggered the sharpest criticism yet from employer groups, who said the burden on small business is too high and doesn't do enough to help them expand insurance coverage.

"This bill costs too much, it covers too few and it has way too much government involvement," said Michelle Dimarob, a lobbyist with the National Federation of Independent Business, the main trade group for small firms. "Small business doesn't want any of those things."

According to 2006 data from the federation, businesses with between five and nine workers, representing about one million employers, had an average payroll of around $375,000 a year. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only about half of firms with three to nine workers offered health benefits in 2008.


Anonymous Mairead said...

Of course "small business doesn't want any of those things". They want to pocket the money and have the rest of us pick up the costs, just like Walmart does.

Capitalists sleep well at night, for if they had a conscience to keep them awake, they wouldn't be Capitalists.

July 15, 2009 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, seriously, fuck these guys. Are there cries from small business for universal healthcare? That would solve the whole problem, but they can't see past their own pathetic little bottom lines.

They can whine all they want about government intervention, the real problem in our lives is business, not government. Government would actually work pretty well without the "business influence" that is our national idiosyncracy.

July 15, 2009 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

Let's see, between 5 & 9 employees and an average payroll of 375K p.a. So let's call it 7 employees on average.

If they paid even 8% penalty on 375K, that would be 30K p.a. Divided over 7 employees, we see $4,290 per employee per year. Could the employer cover the employees at a lower cost? If not, then this is a money-saver for the whining employers.

Of course, to a Capitalist, even a dollar a year is too much. "All for ourselves and nothing for other people" is their motto, just as it was when Adam Smith called them on it in 1776.

July 15, 2009 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

capitalism is why we are still around after 200 plus years.

ughhhhh. you're all a bunch of socialists.

July 28, 2009 4:01 PM  

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