ObamaCare: How Is It Affecting You?

ObamaCare has taken a pretty heavy toll on small business. Every week I am having conversations with entrepreneurs who are telling me ObamaCare is causing them to lay off team members due to the increase in rates it has created.

Chris LoCurto, Leadership, Business, Strategic Planning, ObamaCare

As well as companies aren’t hiring because of the potential impact.

The Federal Reserve reports:

  • Employers Cited ObamaCare As Reasons For “Planned Layoffs And Reluctance To Hire More Staff.”
  • Businesses Have “Delayed Hiring” Due To ObamaCare.
  • ObamaCare Has Caused Companies To Hire “The Absolute Minimum” Of Employees To Skirt The Law’s Burdensome Regulations.

In 2014, companies with 50 or more team members are expected to pick up 100% of team member insurance, or pay $750 a year per team member penalty to the Government. This is a ridiculous idea, since it will be cheaper for companies to pay the fine and leave team members without insurance. But the Government will get paid!

Many companies are considering not growing past 49 total team members. Thus keeping them from growing business.

There are SO MANY issues with this that I could post on, but I really want to know your thoughts.

Question: How is ObamaCare affecting you, and what do you think of the changes? 



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

38 thoughts on “ObamaCare: How Is It Affecting You?”

  1. Chris, I think you should run for President, and teach us leadership . I know that it is a good time for companies to create new entities and split the organizations up to avoid having to pay the government! It makes no sense, John doesn’t get health ins but the government gets 750.00. That does fit the overall idea of our current status though, get paid not for earning it. I just recently offered someone a job, no thank you I have unemployement for 9 more months and your not offering me enough. Correct your base is about 150 more a week but your potential and earning potential is a lot more. I know but I have some things to do that I have been wanting to get done anyway around the house.

  2. Many companies have simply stopped looking at employees as an investment and now see them as a “manageable expense”. Although my business is too small (2 employees) to be affected, I see it negatively affecting businesses around me everyday. Larger businesses are shifting their focus to lower wage, lower skilled, part-time help instead of hiring and keeping full-time help.

    The real losers are the everyday workers. Businesses will adapt quickly and change their hiring models to maximize profits. The average worker’s mentality, however, changes a lot more slowly.

  3. Hi Chris,
    I am not a business owner, but work for a business that has around 50 employees. My premiums ever since Obamacare was passed have went up 80%. He said during the election that no one saw a raise in their premiums because of Obamacare. We also lost our Health Savings account so last year when we had a bad medical year we had to pay out of pocket $4000+ which would have been money that would have been tax free. This all happened before October 2013 when all this is suppose to kick in. The small companies won’t be exempt because the premiums are so high that its forcing many of the to cut back. I read a statistic in Dan Miller book that StaffMark an employment agency say that in the next 4 years 50% of the jobs will be contract labor. This mean NO benefits & we will be responcible to find our own health care, hello ObamaCare.

    1. I’m a single individual and mine went up 50%. I’m still fine with it. I can afford it. But heaven forbid that a family of 4 has the same issue. There goes the budget for the year!
      And I hear the argument that – well it hasn’t kicked in yet, so that increase is unrelated – false. Insurance companies review coverage costs every year. They see these increased expenses of # of insured and HAVE to take precautionary measure to increase premium to be able to bear this huge bill they’re about to have to pay.

  4. Respectfully, how is ObamaCare affecting me? I’m thankful for it and that someone cares. As a Christian, fan of you Chris & Dave, and a small business owner, for the life of me I can not figure out how it can be okay with anyone…anyone, that a hard working family ‘not’ be able to provide quality healthcare for their kids & family. Even if I could afford it, ‘quality’ healthcare under the current system would cost our family $500 a month, an amount that is simply not an option for this under-employed provider of my home. If you have ever needed medical care for one of your kids and not been able to provide it, you understand the heartbreak & frustration for so many families. To me, it’s not a business issue, or political issue, it’s a “love my neighbor as myself” issue. The unfortunate thing is that my conservative friends seem to always focus on the group that abuses the system (something that happens in all areas of life) verses on the growing number of fellow American’s that have been priced out of quality healthcare for their families and simply need someone, anyone, yes even Obama, to work to find a doable solution to this growing problem for so many American families. I am sorry about your business bottom line, really, and know any added cost will have a negative ripple effect on you and our economy, but I’m much more concerned about being able to provide decent healthcare to those I love the most, my family. As influential leaders, please don’t forget those of us your conversations impact the most.

    1. There are many stories of families that could have been saved from disaster by having some type of insurance, all of which are unfortunate. However, having government impose on a business the responsibility of ensuring that everyone is covered by insurance or make them pay the government to do it for them is ludicrous.

      This isn’t a “love thy neighbor” issue. This is a personal responsibility issue.

      For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10 ESV)

      This is a matter of choice. I’m told by people that they can’t afford healthcare, and yet they’re able to afford 1, even 2 car payments. Obviously driving a newer car is more important than health insurance. The same goes for even the lowest wage earners.

      I recently had a customer whose entire auto repair bill was being paid for by a local charity. This customer wasn’t experiencing hard times, he was simply irresponsible. I suggested he take $25 a week and set it aside for future car repairs as he would be needing several in the future. He looked confused by the suggestion!

      The truth is insurance against a catastrophic illness or injury is affordable. However, too many Amercians are unwilling to pay for ANY healthcare. They have no concept of seeking out high deductible insurance plans and paying for smaller bills out of pocket. Simply setting aside a small portion of your earnings each week would allow you to cover the deductible in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, as was the case with my confused customer, this never crosses anyone’s mind.

    2. Barry, Who do you think should pay for your family’s healthcare? As a small business owner we will be faced with an estimated 40% increase in premiums January 1, 2014 as soon as obamacare goes into effect. We currently cover 100% of our team members health insurance. We will not be able to do that come January 1st. Who should pick up the slack? It’s simple math, somebody’s gonna have to pay for it.

    3. Thanks, Barry, for the thoughtful response.
      Is the best solution to the problem of health insurance forcing me to pay for someone else’s care? That’s tyranny, and I believe it’s neither the best nor the most equitable solution.
      I believe we can agree there is a huge problem with the provision of health insurance and health care in America, and there are solutions available. Let’s work toward the best solution.

  5. Ok, so I don’t usually comment on these kind of political posts, but something struck me today…

    Is Obamacare a terrible piece of legislation? YES!

    However, it seems to me that there is a much bigger issue at play here.

    Our countries health is in horrible shape, which is one of the main reasons our healthcare system is buckling! The pain that we are going to feel from this bad piece of legislation is just the icing on the cake, if we continue down this path.

    This all comes down to personal responsibility. In general, we are eating and drinking ourselves into an epidemic. And I’m no innocent either!

    Have you looked at the rate of diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc lately?

    These all correlate to lifestyle choices!

    So, I choose to focus on what I can do to help the people around me make better choices and become healthier; especially my family.

    What are you doing to help lead the people around you to eat healthier, exercise more, and generally educate themselves on this topic?

    1. I’m with Bob on the need to change lifestyles.
      We don’t have a single health care system in this country as far as I’m concerned. So adding another piece of legislation to regulate sick care is NEVER going to fix this huge problem. You need to incent doctors to make people better, not write up a script. You need to incent individuals to be active and eat right, not promote McDonald’s or KFC or Pizza Hut as a family dinner. Dont’ give a subsidy to big agriculture. Give tax breaks for attending farmers markets participating in co-ops… etc… Would make people healthier and support business ALL AT ONCE!
      And you’re spot on, Chris – employers (I personally know many small business owners) who would rather pay the fine or stick to 49 ppl than provide uber expensive sick care. it’s not a moral decision, it’s a stay afloat as a business decision.
      So sad…. Rant over. 😉

      1. Word Jillian!!!

        The only thing I’ll add is that we each have to change also. Incentives are great, but making conscious decisions to avoid fast food and the couch are made by each of us daily!

        My rant will be over once the pizza gets here. 😉

    2. Very good point, Bob. This would be a definite long-term solution, but unfortunately, those that are healthier still have to suffer because of those that aren’t (and those that choose the mooch off the system). Taking better care of ourselves will reduce the need and thus the cost of health issues, but what about accidents and other things that are generally out of our control? That’s what insurance is for (or should be for), but what about the expense of it? Well, getting out of debt and building an emergency fund would go a long way to helping. Dave recommends 3-6 months for an emergency fund, but maybe we should aim for 9-12 months to offset healthcare (sarcasm, with a hint of “maybe we should”).

      1. Great ideas Josh!

        I think everyone is also ignoring the fact that the costs themselves are way out of hand. Why is that?

        I worked in Pharma for several years and enjoyed the benefits of that industry. However, the profits on that side of reality are insane. But, it’s hard to separate the right to profit and personal suffering.

        There are some really disturbing topics within this subject, like: the necessity of quality of life drugs, cost of medications in general, and extending life when the quality of life is questionable.

        None of these topics are easily dealt with, but they are all important in this discussion.

        I loved my Grandmother and Grandfather dearly, but watching them suffer in their last days while on literally 10 different meds, just didn’t seem right. But hey, we got to hang with them for a few extra years. Those were precious years, but they were costly.

        I didn’t pay for them though. We all did.

  6. I am a small business owner that has 5 employees. I was on par to provide health insurance but the premiums have skyrocketed and now I have to tell my employees we cannot offer health benefits. How can these young families gain any health benefits? Have the rates for personal health insurance dropped? Is there a way to help employees fund their own personal policies? I have over a hundred subcontractors and have to be careful that they have supplied all their paperwork stating they are independent contractors, otherwise the gov has said they will be treated as employees. Who knows if they will try and charge owners $750 per subcontractor if the owner isn’t following every letter of the law?

  7. We rely way too much on medical care. While it’s a great resource and worth investing into, it’s become a crutch.
    The greatest healthcare isn’t provided by a doctor, it’s eating healthy whole foods, exercising at least 30 mins a day (strength, cardio, and flexibility), getting plenty of rest, and drinking about half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day to stay hydrated.
    To echo what Bob Winchester said, it all comes down to personal resposibility…

  8. It seems to me that tort reform would go a long way to fixing the price of healthcare. Imagine if we had a loser pays system. You sue your doc & lose, you have to pay their defense expenses. Add in an “in case I lose” deposit an attorney would have to pay before they file suit, you would get far fewer frivolous cases.

    Our out of control suit happy society is the reason that malpractice insurance for docs is sky high, which is why they practice defensive medicine (ordering test for unlikely causes to prevent lawsuits). All of this increases the cost of healthcare.

    I know there is more to it but I think you fix the legal system and it would go a long way to fixing the problem, noe of which Obamacare did by the way.

    Great comments everyone, love to hear what you think. Love the blog Chris.

  9. I’m not privileged yet to be a business owner, but what you write about, Chris, is what I’m hearing as well. My own health premiums went up 74%, and will probably go away next year.
    What I refuse to buy into is the idea that another person’s health is my concern, or my responsibility. I’m not going to promote healthy eating or living to anyone, it’s none of my business.

    1. This is a great point Kathy!

      It’s a fine line we are walking and talking about here. Unfortunately, I think it’s impossible to avoid the fact that other people’s bad habits are affecting all of our healthcare costs.

      Think about it like this: if a baby boomer has spent the past 20 years eating horribly, smoking, and living an unhealthy lifestyle and gets diabetes, we still have to pick up his or her medicare / medicaid. Even if he or she is on a private plan, that affects everyone’s rates, right?

      As a Christian, I don’t want to see anyone suffering. However, I also don’t want people to take advantage of me. By watching people live for the here and now with no consideration of the future, I’m allowing them to take advantage of me.

      I’m not hard lined on this, I just don’t see a good solution here that allows us to separate individual rights without allowing people to suffer the consequences of their actions later in life.

      We are either in this together or we let them suffer if they don’t have the means to deal with it themselves (and many don’t).

      What do we do? Cuz what we are doing ain’t working… Respectfully.

  10. I’ve been looking for a job for sometime and among some of the excuses I hear from employers are they can’t hire more people at this time. Many employers seem to be afraid to hire anyone over 50, no matter how well their job performance record.

    One of the newest phrases a head hunter told me he’s hearing from employers:

    “Not over 50 and under 30″. Meaning, not to hire anyone over 50 due to possible health issues as well as keep the numbers down on all hires and hire people for under 30 hours to keep from giving benefits.”

  11. I have been a medical office manager for 15 years. I have seen insurance reimbursements, especially Medicare, drop so low that physician offices are having to close or sell their practices to hospitals. My fear for our patients is that the doctors they have depended on will no longer be practicing. They are paying high insurance premiums but have no access to the phycians they need. Physician groups are having to drop the low or no paying insurance payors because they can’t subsidize patient care any longer. This is a lose-lose situation for patients and physicians. There will be mandated healthcare but what will be the quality of that healthcare? Small businesses will be paying high premiums but their employees will have limits to care they never expected. Sit in my office chair and be very afraid.

  12. PPACA aka Obamacare is a train wreck. I’ve been in the individual
    health insurance industry since 1998
    and my father since 1968. Until 2010, we were the largest privately
    owned IMO (Independent Marketing Organization) in the country (built
    from the ground up by my father). We had approximately 5000 agents
    nationwide. Writing $1.5 to $2.5 Million per week in annual premium. In
    fact, I attended Entreleadership MS in 2009 to obtain the tools to take
    over the family business. One subversive legislative action and
    signature changed all of that.

    I know more than I care to about the legislation. I’ve spent hours with
    attorneys and carrier execs trying to figure out how to deal with this
    monstrosity. I’ve read the bill twice (2700 and 2300 page versions). If
    you don’t have a waiver from HSS, you are subject to it. Even if you
    do have a waiver, you are subject to it (taxes/fees). MLR is another
    story all together.

    Here’s the deal. Obamacare will crumble under its own weight. It is
    unsustainable. It has very little to do with improving healthcare and
    providing insurance to those who are uninsurable, and has everything to
    do with changing the relationship between the electorate and the
    government into one of dependence.

    Unintended Consequences:

    1. Loss of Income: Agents in their 60’s were planning to retire, had their renewal commissions cut by 75-90%

    2. Loss of Incentive: Agents had their commissions cut 75-90% and left the business

    3. Loss of Service: Instead of dealing with an independent licensed
    agent, customers are forced to deal with carrier call centers paying
    $10/hr to some pimple faced kid with a script

    4. Increased Premiums: Health Insurance premiums have risen by 25-35% in the last 2.5 years.

    5. Loss of Jobs: As Chris mentioned, people are being cut due to expense. (I let go 20 people and my father let go of 8)

    6. Suicide Rate Increased: I heard several stories of agents who could not provide for their families doing the unthinkable.

    7. Loss of Production: When employers have to stop producing to deal
    with regulations, they cease generating income for everyone.

    8. Negative Impact on GDP: Obamacare is already having a negative impact on GDP and it will continue the negative effect.
    9. Loss of Doctors: They are retiring in droves.

    Medicare, Medicaid, 401k plans, IRAs, pensions and inside build up on
    life insurance policies and annuities are next. They began looting the
    gas companies in the 90s. They looted the treasury and companies like
    GM in 2008. They looted the health insurance companies and tax-payers
    in 2010. The are going to loot the retirement plans next. Followed by
    the life insurance companies.

    Why is the smart play is moving your money overseas? Why are the smart
    companies like Apple and Google parking their cash overseas? The low volume in the equities markets does not point to ‘money on the sidelines’ as conventional wisdom once believed. Low Volume is pointing to assets being invested outside the US markets. Artificially low interest rates on US debt has caused a ‘war on savers and fixed income retirees’…. who are getting a ‘hair cut’ via Medicare reimbursements being lowered. Long Term Care is going to be the biggest financial challenge we’ve ever seen in years. Just wait…

    The Fed is
    introducing an average of 63 new regulations per DAY.

    While you are reading this post, you are probably in violation of a handful of Federal Regulations.

    *Steps down from soap box to the cheers of one*

    1. Lance, I want to congratulate you on your stamina in having read the Whole Dang Thing not just once, but TWICE! Thank you for sharing the info with the CLo tribe.

  13. I really don’t like talking bad about government leaders because the Scriptures warn against it, but I do believe Obamacare itself is a dumb. We were talking about this at work and one of the other supervisors says because of her husband oversize weight the insurance companies won’t covering him because of the Obamacare. He is a liability. So they are going to have to pay cash for health care. And that highly upset me. I really don’t desire to speak much about this because it has so upset me. Sorry about this. >:-(

    1. The Scriptures teach us to respect the position, that is all. (1 Peter 2) It doesn’t not say we can’t disagree with their actions, simply to keep from open rebellion against it (Romans 13). I will abide by the new laws being set in place, but I still see it as a misguided attempt to fix something that can only be fixed on a personal level.

  14. As an employee, I’ve had an increase in my premium. It wasn’t an astronomical amount, but a definite increase.

    As I get started with my business, I guess I need to look into this more to see how this is going to affect me and my family.

  15. As with many other topics, we get partial information from news sources. I personally don’t fully understand the implications, but given the anticipated outcomes of reduced growth for small businesses, layoffs and delays in hiring, it seems unsustainable.

  16. Obamacare was just bad all the way around. It put businesses in a bind. It will raise premiums(Just wait, the fun is just getting started on that one). It will raise copays, and it will make insurance pay for less in the long run. Financially there is no way they can avoid that. Also, as usual for government, they are trying to fix something they are better off leaving alone. I don’t disagree that healthcare is a problem in this country, but trying to force people into insurance programs doesn’t even come close to solving the problem. If anything, in my opinion it will make it worse. The problem lies in the health of our country. We have about 80% of the population with at least one chronic disease, and 55% with 2 or more. Our current healthcare system doesn’t promote health. It fixes problems(or attempts to) once they occur. That’s where the change has to come in.

    For me personally, I have a small enough business that it doesn’t effect me from a hiring standpoint, but being a healthcare provider, it has already somewhat started effecting reimbursement to some degree. I will have to say though, in my particular case that it seems to be helping me convert more patients to cash which I like better anyway. It’s easier on both of us for a variety of reasons.

  17. For some time now I have been looking for a job but find there many obsicals out there from age to the government making it difficult for a business owner to hire the way and who they want to hire.

    One of the newest phrases a head hunter, of a very well known hiring company, told me he’s hearing from employers:

    “Not over 50 and under 30″. Meaning, not to hire anyone over 50 years of age, due to possible health issues that could cost the company and keep the numbers down on all hires, hire people for under 30 hours to keep from giving benefits.”

  18. Wow! Great blog and comments. First, I am so sorry but this has activated my sarcasm relay. I tried looking in a mirror and making my lips say that having ObamaCare is “me” providing health care for my family. I tried but couldn’t keep a straight face and burst out laughing each time. I may try this every morning. What could be better than a good belly laugh to start the day?

    That is not ME providing anything. That is like me saying that by filling out the paperwork and being approved for food stamps and government housing that “I” am providing food and shelter for my family. This is what I consider providing health care for my family: If I make $10 an hour, I generate $30-$50 in value for my employer so that they may afford to offer full or partial health care. If I have a small business, it is me generating the revenue and profits AND holding others accountable to generate the 3-5 times their compensation. That is what I consider as me providing health care.

    Second, I back up in the flow chart to the left side (no pun intended) of the page and see who was elected or re-elected that supports this type of legislation. Any one of us that vote for a person that supports this mandate and loss of freedom is the cause.

    That’s just the way I see it. I promote the Leader Owner Mindset over boss employee thinking. I began with me. gg

  19. Anytime the government offers a program that covers “everyone,” duck and cover. When the government tells Hobby Lobby, Dave or me that we have to leave our Christian values at the door of privately-held businesses open to the public, it’s wrong. (Which our government has done in briefs filed in response to Hobby Lobby’s suit.) I know of over 50 firms that are splitting divisions and forming new groups to “get small” and not be caught in Obamacare. Can we not look at Britain and see that socialism doesn’t work? Between the 1st and 2nd Amendment attacks, this is a time for action and attitude by Joe Q. Public.

  20. To circumvent the system, is there a way to set up another another corporation up to 49 employees? Just wondering…..

  21. at this moment I don’t know, but what i can tell you, our board makes us look poor on paper and I HATE being on government health care! for two reasons, One there are worse off people who really needs it before me and two the idea the government/state health care is my only option from my employer.

    So my wife and I are looking at HSA’s and any way we can get a way from the state health care. Granted it is better than nothing, but not by much.

  22. My business is still well under the 50 employee threshold, so we will be able to plan for this, On top of that we want to be a company that treats employees well and provides coverage. The only main two things I don’t like are 1. Employers are require to pay 100% of coverage, and 2. It covers access to abortions and morning after pills. I’m not sure if any of the “Christian Providers” are considered acceptable coverage under his plan, but I’m hoping they are. I’m also hoping there are some changes to this by the time my company reaches 50 employees.

  23. I can’t understand how this is such a bad thing. We have not been effected at all because we already provide health insurance to all employees, it’s the right thing to do. Isn’t this no different than requiring all drivers to have auto insurance?

  24. Obama care is terrible! Nothing is free, the money the government will use to give free health care will come from the hard working people and businesses. These businesses will either close down due to not wanting to pay for the health care (we are talking millions of dollars) or not be able to afford to stay in business. That means that several people will lose their jobs ending in another great depression.

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