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Health care bill good or bad? SEMA's thoughts

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Will the health care reform bill be good or bad for small businesses? It depends on your perspective, says the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).

"The legislation includes a SEMA-supported measure to establish 50 insurance exchange marketplaces, administered by the states, which allow small businesses and individuals without health care coverage to provide insurance," say SEMA officials.

"These 'exchanges' will provide small business owners with the flexibility to provide affordable coverage through competition, thus potentially allowing small business owners to provide insurance options with lower premiums."

On the other hand, "while there is no direct 'employer mandate' in the legislation, it penalizes employers with 50 or more employees by requiring them to pay for coverage if even one employee is receiving a government subsidy. The economic effect of this legislation has the potential to adversely affect employers and discourage hiring new workers.

"While the final result of the bill will not be known for a long time, SEMA has consistently urged adoption of legislation that creates incentives for employers to hire new workers and grow their business."

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