On the plus side, the law provides tax credits for qualifying employers, slows premium increases, requires insurers to spend 80 percent of premiums on care, and will require state-based exchanges to offer affordable coverage beginning in 2014. Critics oppose the penalties that will apply to some employers for failure to assure sufficient coverage of their employees and predict that the ACA will ultimately result in tax increases that will hurt business owners.
The National Federation of Independent Business and 26 states have joined the challenge to the ACA, alleging that Congress exceeded its power by imposing the individual mandate and denouncing the impact on state budgets they expect to result from the law’s expansion of Medicaid programs.
In the most closely-watched case since Bush v. Gore, the Court has three options besides simply upholding the law as it currently stands; it may strike just the individual mandate, strike the mandate and its associated insurance reforms, or invalidate all 2,700 pages of the ACA. Here’s what small business owners need to know about each possible verdict:
If the entire law is overturned: Small businesses will be back where they started in 2009. There will be no federally-required exchanges offering affordable coverage, although some states may continue to develop such exchanges. The restrictions on premiums and medical loss ratios have already helped
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