This Month’s Shocker
by Tara Taffera
I was intrigued this month while researching and writing our feature story on the new Affordable Care Act and the effect it has already had on door and window companies. And the story is not just about Obamacare, as it is commonly referred, but rising health care costs in general, and how this is having a profound effect on businesses.
A few items regarding the health care issue shocked me and I wonder if it will you as well.
Maybe I should have titled this column: what shocks and appalls me—and saddens me.
I am appalled that health care costs for Milanese Remodeling rose 98 percent when one of its employees Gabe Milanese was diagnosed with brain cancer. And I am saddened that this increased the cost of insurance so much that Mark Milanese, Gabe’s brother, ultimately dropped health care insurance for his employees. Milanese Remodeling was once known for having one of the best health insurance plans in the Pennsylvania area and now it has none.
Our health care story also follows Mike Gilkey, owner of Gilkey Window Co., who dropped insurance for his employees due to a hidden regulation regarding birth control and abortions that conflict with his moral views. I am shocked this hasn’t been covered more widely by the mainstream media. While doing my research, I found the major press on the subject has been written by Catholic or pro-life religious groups almost exclusively.
Another regulation not widely reported is the fact that the new health care law includes a $63-per-head fee “to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions,” according to one article. The fee had been overlooked by many as employers focused on other costs in the law, including fines for medium and large firms that don't provide coverage.
The result of all my research was more sympathy for you, the business owner, as you navigate through these rocky waters.
Hopefully this story will help answer some of your questions and prepare you for the upcoming regulations. Whether large or small, owner or employee, the health care changes will affect you.
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how this issue is affecting your business. I would love to talk to companies who are pleased with the plan and who believe it will have a positive effect on their business. I look forward to hearing from you and here’s hoping for less shockers and sadness next month.
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