Health Care Reform's Impact on Small Business
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The Supreme Court will soon consider whether to strike down the federal health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act. Some small business owners still wonder if the law will truly help them provide insurance for their employees. (Mar. 23)

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[LOCATION: ILLINOIS--MARCH 23, 2012] [SOURCE: AP] [NAT-BREAK: GENEVA, IL--MARCH 21, 2012] [VOICE-OVER]THE RESTAURANT OWNER[NAT-BREAK]THE SELF-EMPLOYED NEWS PHOTOGRAPHER[NAT-BREAK]AND A LOCAL HARDWARE STORE [NAT-BREAK:] SMALL BUSINESS, EACH WITH ECONOMIC CHALLENGES, AND HOW DO THEY AFFORD HEALTHCARE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR EMPLOYEES?[STAND-UP: ROBERT RAY / ASSOCIATED PRESS]"BUT BEFORE WE GET TO THEIR STORIES, YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS..THE SUPREME COURT WILL SOON CONSIDER WHETHER TO STRIKE DOWN THE FEDERAL HEALTH REFORM LAW,.KNOWN AS THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. BUT AS IT STANDS NOW THE REFORM ACT IS DEEPLY COMPLEX, AND FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS IT MEAN A FEW THINGS.."INSERT GRAPHIC[VOICE-OVER]BEGINNING IN 2014, A BUSINESS WITH MORE THAN 50 EMPLOYEES WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EMPLOYEESSMALL BUSINESS WITH LESS THAN 50 EMPLOYEES, AND BY THE WAY THAT IS 96 PERCENT OF ALL U.S. BUSINESS WILL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATEAND THEN THERE IS A TAX CREDIT. SO IF YOU EMPLOY LESS THAN 25 PEOPLE, AND YOUR AVERAGE WAGES ARE LESS THAN $50,000, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO GET UP TO 50% OF WHAT YOU PAY IN HEALTH INSURANCE CURRENTLY BACK ON YOUR TAXES.[NAT-BREAK][VOICE-OVER]OK, BACK TO THE BUSINESS OWNERS...BIEN TRUCHA OUTSIDE OF CHICAGO EMPLOYS 35 PEOPLE AND THIS PLACE IS THRIVING[NAT-BREAK:]BUT PROVIDING HEALTHCARE IS NOT AN OPTION FOR THEM BECAUSE OF THE EXTREME COST OF INSURANCE PREMIUMSOWNER RICARDO GARCIA-RUBIO HAS A PRE-EXISITING HEART CONDITION AND IS HOPING TO BE ABLE TO SOMEDAY PROVIDE AT LEAST PARTIAL HEALTHCARE FOR HIMSELF AND HIS EMPLOYEES, BUT FOR NOW..[SOT: RICARDO GARCIA-RUBIO / RESTAURANT OWNER]"THE UNITES STATES IS VERY EXPENSIVE...PERSONALLY, FOR MYSELF I GO TO MEXICO TO SEE THE DOCTOR ONCE A YEAR AND PAYING FOR THR TICKET AND EVERYTHING ITS LESS MONEY FOR ME THAN JUST GOING TO THE DOCTOR HERE."[NAT-BREAK][VOICE-OVER]RALF FINN-HESTOFT IS AN FREE-LANCE NEWS PHOTOGRAPHER, HE TRAVELS THE COUNTRY AND IS CURRENTLY ON THE GOP CAMPAIGN TRAIL[SOT: RALF FINN-HESTOFT / SELF-EMPLOYED]"CURRENTLY I HAVE A PRE-EXISITING CONDITION THAT DOES NOT ALLOW ME TO GET REAL HEALTH INSURANCE. SO, IF YOU HAVE TO BUY ON THE INDIVIDUAL MARKET IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT AND VERY EXPENSIVE AND YOU ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE INSURANCE COMPANIES."[VOICE-OVER]RALF IS HOPING THAT IN TWENTY FOURTEEN THE STATE-RUN HEALTH EXCHANGES ACTUALLY HAPPEN. THAT PROGRAM WOULD HELP HIM SHOP FOR AFFORDABLE COVERAGE AND IN THEORY IT WOULD BE A MORE BALANCED MARKET PLACE. HE ALSO THINKS THE PROGRAM COULD HELP THE STRUGGLING ECONOMY[SOT: RALF FINN-HESTOFT / SELF-EMPLOYED]"IT WOULD ALLOW PEOPLE TO SPEND LESS OF THEIR MONTHLY INCOME ON HEALTH CARE OR INSURANCE."[NAT-BREAK][VOICE-OVER]GEORGE HAVLICEK HAD A BOOMING CONTRACTOR BUSINESS, OFFERING A 401K PROGRAM, FULL HEALTH BENEFITS AND MORE...THEN THE ECONOMY FEEL APART[SOT: GEORGE HAVLICEK / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER]"ONE OF THE THINGS I BELIEVE AS A RESPONSIBILITY IS TAKING CARE OF YOUR EMPLOYEES."[VOICE-OVER]TODAY, HIS CONTRACTING BUSINESS IS SKELETON OF IT'S FORMER SUCCESS. INSTEAD, HE HAS RECENTLY OPENED UP A HARDWARE STORE BUT RIGHT NOW HE IS UNABLE TO OFFER INSURANCE TO HIS 35 EMPLOYEES AND DOES NOT THINK THAT FEDERAL HEALTH REFORM WILL HELP[SOT: GEORGE HAVLICEK / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER]"I BELIEVE GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE ANSWER TO ANYTHING AND I DON'T THINK GOVERNMENT HAS EVER INVENTED, DESIGNED OR DID ANYTHING WELL. I BELIVE IT IS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, SMALL BUSINESS AND THERI ARE RESPONSIBILITIES AS A BUSINESS OWNER BUT THINGS I WAS ABLE TO DO BEFORE I SIMPLY CAN'T."[VOICE-OVER]THE COMPLEXITY AND ABILITY TO CREATE COOPERATION BETWEEN STATES, INSURANCE COMPANIES, HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, BUSINESS AND INDIVIDUALS IS AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE A MOUNTAIN OF CHALLENGES INT HE YEARS TO COME.ROBERT RAY, ASSOCIATED PRESS, CHICAGO(****END****)VOICE: ROBERT RAYSOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS