Donald J. Trump took office on Friday, January 20th in the usual swearing in ceremony on the steps of the congressional building in Washington D.C. to become the 45th president of the United States.
If nothing else, the 2016 election was very divisive and polarizing, perhaps more so than any in our nation’s history. Followers of each candidate were staunch in their defense of those they deemed worthy of the oval office.
President Trump’s victory cemented the notion that many people in this country were eager for change. Through the president elect’s campaign platforms, we were given a window into his thoughts on many of the issues dividing the nation. One of the issues that had the most at stake was the president’s outlook on the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare”.
Nationwide, owners of businesses have been responsible for providing health care benefit packages (in most cases paid for by the employees, at least in part) if they exceed a set number of employees, and Arizona is definitely no exception. This law has had various effects on business owners, some positive and some negative.
Jan Mulders moved from the U.K. to start a business in Arizona back in 2007. This was obviously before the days of the A.C.A, when the prospect of providing insurance was not mandated but rather the choice of the individual employer. Hailing from Europe, Jan was used to the idea of universal healthcare.
“It was one of those things you never really think of, because it’s just a public service like fire or police, it’s ‘just there’. It’s surprisingly complicated, expensive and inefficient on the administrative side to not have universal healthcare from what I’ve seen in my medical experiences in the US.” Jan said.
For entrepreneurs like Jan, providing health care coverage to employees was almost an afterthought, but the A.C.A did provide its challenges.
“As a business owner, universal health care significantly simplifies the administrative burden of operating a company, even taking financial considerations such as elevated tax rates into account. However, for the ‘not quite complete’ rollout of universal healthcare in the U.S. versus proper nationalized universal healthcare, it increases the cost and administrative burden of offering healthcare benefits to employees.” Jan said.
For owners of smaller businesses, the experience has been mostly positive. Sherri Davis owns her own business in which she is the sole proprietor. For her, the A.C.A allowed her absence of copay as well as absence of prescription cost.
“It seems as though many people will be affected adversely to changes. Because they will defund the expansion of Medicaid, which applies to me right at this very minute. But on the other side of the coin, if the open coverage across state lines, it may be more affordable. Though as of this moment all local providers for Arizona have dropped out of the coverage pool except for one.”
At this point, it seems we will all be in “wait and see” mode with the perceived changes to the health care laws. With President Trump expected to make sweeping changes to the act across the board, many fear that the outcome will result in loss of coverage while others are excited at the prospect of lesser premiums for greater coverage.
Regardless of the outcome, we all need to be prepared for some big changes.