Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Healthcare hiring freeze

"My feeling is: No action is worse than some action," says Osborne, 55, who has owned the shop for 30 years that employs 35 workers to whom he does not provide health care. "In principle, people should have health care. They've got to take a stab at it somewhere. But from a practical standpoint, I don't really know what's going on."

That comment — not understanding what health care reform really means to a business — seems the common reaction from small-business owners. In a nation of more than 29.6 million small businesses with about 58 million employees, it seems less a matter of being for it or against it and more a matter of not understanding what it means for them.

Many also seem to be trying to push the whole issue aside until they can't any longer, even though the bill utterly changes the way small-business owners will purchase and provide health insurance for themselves and their employees. Among those who have more than 50 employees — and who are still trying to survive the fallout of the financial meltdown — some are focusing on the fact that many of the provisions won't kick in until 2014.

Government involvement in the marketplace always distorts the marketplace.

In this case, if you were an employer, you would delay new hires until you figured out how the healthcare bill impacts your business. Consider it the healthcare hiring freeze.

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