Creating better insurance policies for small businesses

Affordable Care Act on right path in providing support for small-time companies, workers



With mandated employer insurance, patients can receive treatment more easily through insurance provided by their line of work, an option many may lose as the political situation of America undergoes change.

AMAR JOSHI, Evergreen columnist

Our healthcare system is archaic and inefficient when compared to the rest of the developed world.

Costs are exorbitant for medication and procedures, and the government leaves too much of the power with insurance companies.

With the Affordable Care Act, some of the problems of small businesses and self-employed people were alleviated, but still not as much as they should’ve been. More affordable and flexible insurance markets were created to support these businesses, but it didn’t help those it was designed for as much as it needed to.

The Affordable Care Act split up the health insurance market between small and large businesses. Where previously small businesses had to buy insurance from the same places as Microsoft and Apple, they now have a market of coverage designed for smaller operations. This change supported small business with cheaper options made for less people.

“The Affordable Care Act extremely incentivizes small businesses to use the government marketplace, which is designed for them,” said Elizabeth Wood, assistant professor of nursing at WSU.

Professor Wood has thoroughly researched the topic, and understands that small businesses need more support than they received then and certainly more than they receive now.

The government poured their resources into a project tailor-made to support small business and still fell short of their goal. These companies lacked support for too long and the simple changes made by the Affordable Care Act only slightly improved their circumstances.

Even these slight alleviations to the troubles of small business owners are soon to be lost, and will leave them in a more vulnerable place than ever.

The Affordable Care Act is currently being dismantled. In 2017 the individual mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance was gutted. The marketplace for individual health insurance was at a loss, and smaller companies are soon to suffer alongside them.

A vacuum of insurance coverage for the core of American businesses opened and to fill its place are corporations supporting large insurers already with dominant control.

The practices of insurance companies are designed only for their own profit and leave small businesses at a loss for bargaining power. In the end these small businesses are forced to work with faceless corporations holding all the cards.

It’s these kinds of practices which lead to monopolies and expose our economy to many threats, including the potential loss of mandated employer insurance. The mandate is designed to force larger corporations into providing insurance for their employees, with thousands of Americans benefiting from its clauses.

In the end, the Affordable Care Act may not be as beneficial as it could be to the people who need it, but it makes strides to improve the state of health insurance for the average worker.

There is still much improvement that needs to be made in the way of government insurance policy. The solution isn’t to get rid of the little progress that’s been made. Instead, it should remedy the failures of the past and support the core of the American economy — the working class.

This political climate has brought the dismantling of a program which was invaluable to thousands of Americans. Large companies have already reduced healthcare costs.

If the government wants to see small business succeed they need to focus more resources and thought into streamlining the process. They need to optimize the system to help businesses of all sizes.