Somedays I feel like Johnny Cash, “I’ve been everywhere,” because lately I have had the opportunity to travel all over the Midwest presenting to groups of all sizes on how the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare will effect them. As a member of the Mid-America Speakers bureau, my audiences are communities in rural America, business executives in the city and concerned members of the public. The only two things they seem to have in common: they have no idea what the health reform legislation means for them, and nobody wants to pay higher taxes.
My speech titled “the ACA: How it Impacts You, Your Family and Your business, is non-partisan presents the good, the bad and the ugly parts of Obamacare.
It has been an interesting experience. I have learned many things from other Americans like through Continuing Education seminars where it was disheartening to see agents who sell health insurance in small towns struggle to figure if they will be in business in three years due to the Medical Loss Ratio which benefited others, but likely no more than a few hundred dollars, and at the expense of their livelihood. This provision also has an indirect impact on small businesses who are often seeing their profit margins squeezed as key people have to devote precious time to new government regulations.
These same firms are also seeing their bottom line’s threatened due to new penalties, fees and compliance requirements businesses with more than 50 employees will face for not offering affordable coverage among other things. The healthcare reform bill is in many ways a law of unintended consequences, and something will need to be done sooner rather than later to address the flaws it does have, and improve upon the favorable provisions, many of which enjoy broad bi-partisan support.
On a side note. It is election season, and I had the opportunity to attend the Nebraska Senate debate between former Senator and Democrat Bob Kerrey and Republican State Senator Deb Fischer. It was a solid event sponsored by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce and held at the Omaha Community playhouse. Both candidates were well prepared and stuck their traditional talking points. Healthcare played a large role in the dialogue, and both candidates agree that the bill will need to be changed in some way. When pressed by the moderator for specifics, they had none.
Share your ideas with me on how we can fix our troubled healthcare system, tomorrow morning from 10-11 AM Central time, with me Sean McGuire for America’s Healthcare Challenge. You can stream online by clicking here and for my latest appearance on the good morning show and the podcast from the last episode.