“Help!” That was the plea from a Sioux City dentist who reached out to me after learning he could no longer help his seven employees with their health insurance costs.
The dentist explained he had been helping his employees with the cost of their health insurance for 20 years. Then he realized the Affordable Care Act – better known as President Obama’s health care law, or Obamacare – bars small business owners from reimbursing their employees for the cost of buying health insurance on the individual market, as the dentist had been doing. If they do, they risk fines of $100 per day per employee. Obamacare maintains that such an arrangement isn’t good enough.
The problem is, that arrangement worked for the dentist and his employees. It worked for 20 years. Now he worries that his staff won’t be able to afford insurance on their own and might earn slightly too much money to qualify for any government subsidy to help them buy insurance. “They are caught in the middle,” the dentist wrote. “Please hurry and do something to help the millions of middle-class small business employees who are caught between a rock and a hard place.”