Those who have driven down Argentine's "main street" - Strong Avenue - will see that business is not doing so well. Store fronts are abandoned, the Sonic restaurant is gone, and Mom and Pop shops do not endure for long. Large numbers of homes are up for sale and have been for months. It is apparent to all that the economy is not picking up in Argentine.
Small business is suffering in Argentine, but will the pending health care bill alleviate or worsen the suffering of Argentine's small business community? The bill Congress may "deem as passed" tomorrow, the "Reconciliation Bill" contains numerous provisions in it that may impact the small business climate. For instance:
- Section 164 of the will require any business owner who provides insurance to him or herself or their employees to submit to annual audits to ensure employers are providing government-approved health care plans.
- Section 312 states that a "Health Choices Commissioner" would instruct employers on which health care benefits they must provide to themselves and their employees.
- Section 1173(A) mandates the issuance of a health care identification card that will allow the government to access information relating to financial responsibility and will enable electronic transfer of funds.
- Section 132 prohibits employers from challenging or suing the government for price fixing when it comes to health care.
- Section 202 mandates that employers must provide health care to part-time employees and their families.
- Section 313 assesses special taxes against small business owners, and employers who do not provide the right kind of health care will be assessed a tax penalty.
This is just a partial list of provisions that may impact small business owners and people who are self-employed. For those who own small businesses, there may be more legislative red-tape to navigate if you are fortunate enough to consider growing your business in this struggling economy.