Lucy Dunn: O.C. business group wary of Obamacare

On Nov. 09, the Register’s Opinion pages published opposing views on health care reform [“Is it time to dismantle health reform law?”], one of which mentioned Orange County Business Council research by Wallace Walrod. OCBC’s report, cited in the piece by Daniel Zingales of the California Endowment, was an initial assessment compiled to understand how health care reform, its costs and benefits will impact California businesses.

Like the vast majority of the California business community, OCBC and its members are still assessing the true impacts. Our research found that there may be benefits, but there are still many questions, costs and concerns.

OCBC shares the concerns voiced by the author of the companion piece, Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute, about how reform will be implemented. For example, a primary concern of the business community is uncertainty regarding employer insurance costs. Early estimates of impacts range from moderate to severe.

Another concern expressed by many businesses focused on so-called “Cadillac Plan” taxes that hit businesses, but not unions. “Cadillac Plans” refer to employer-sponsored health insurance benefits that exceed $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for a family. California employers rely on generous medical benefits to help attract and retain top employees. Many factors, such as having an older worker population or being located in a high-cost metropolitan area, are not under an employer’s control.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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