Host Bill Spadea asked questions of his staff, who had plenty to say about it. Tamara Laine chased down people who were having trouble getting the health care. The marketplace opened yesterday and was overwhelmed by responses, and most sites shut down after only two hours. In East Orange, she met up with Vonice Brown, a NJ Health Care Navigator who helps people understand and sign up for health care. With over a million people unemployed, Tamara stated the people knew that this is a good thing for them, and the Navigator stated that there has been a positive response and just need help deciding which plan is good for them. The Navigators are funded by the government, but there are just not enough of them to help everyone. Tamara then said she got a Facebook message from a friend who had trouble with a website too.
Bill Anderson stated that New York City at the end of the day had 7.5 million people trying to access the information. He said that it could just be people curious, and not ready to sign up. The full impact will probably take months to find out.
Bill then stated that there are groups out there who are not happy with Obamacare. Sibile Marcellus spoke for the small business community, SBA.gov states that a small business employs less than 500 people. The National Federation for Independent Business states that small New Jersey businesses will be hurt if Obamacare is fully implemented. They have been opposed to the individual mandate from day one. They state that there are so many mandates for New Jersey businesses that it is nearly impossible to implement bare-bones health care policies for their employees.
Jack Mazloom appeared as a guest from the National Federation for Independent Business who stated that it is illegal to sell bare-bones policies for employees now under Obamacare. Small-business owners used to rely heavily on basic catastrophic insurance coverage; which was made illegal. Now everyone has to buy Cadillac coverage, which is much more expensive. In thirty of the states, rates for insurance have skyrocketed; which is bad news for employers. Now the law states that if you have fifty employees, you have to give all fifty insurance. If you have forty-nine employees, there is no incentive to hire the fiftieth person because it is for businesses with less than fifty employees. This mandate will bring avalanches of expenses that companies cannot afford. This will lead to more unemployment as businesses will not be able to afford the extra expenses. Many employers have put their money into their business to make it work, now they are forced to pay for something they do not want. Hank Flynn stated that it was a law, and we have to either live with it or die with it. He asked Mazloom what he would do to monkey around with the law to make it more appetizing for small businesses? He replied that people should be able to buy insurance in all fifty states, which they cannot do now. This would promote real competition and savings to the people who are forced to buy.
Ronica Cleary stated that the minimum wage was expected to be increased in the upcoming election. Now with health care a mandate, will small businesses survive or leave New Jersey? Mazloom stated that they already were leaving because this is one of the toughest states in the country because of its aggressive tax structure, regulations, Obamacare and minimum wage will be a time bomb. She stated that small businesses used to be the American dream, and this mandate gives no incentive for businesses with less than fifty employees to grow on this episode of “Chasing New Jersey.”
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