Everyone can agree that a major halt on operations over in Congress — due to disagreements — can be the least likely positive response to success. I understand that people disagree. Believe me, I do. But if businesses hang in the balance, wouldn’t it be the safest way to go and let a law pass — despite the disagreements? I’d say so.
I am, of course, talking about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Some people agree with it; some people don’t.
I Say I Don’t Care. It’s the Law.
Realistically, we can spout out all our arguments as much as we want, and even as a small business — which on the surface the ACA seems to support — there are problems with the Act, such as the extreme partisanship and complexity of the bill. The idea of mandating health insurance for companies over a specific number in workforce and revenue can be a make-or-break situation.
What if you’re just under that number? What then? The law is the law — you end up not having to pay for the health insurance of your employees. But if you’re just over that number, guess what: you’re shelling out the money, required by the government now, just so all your workers can ensured (which is a good thing, but not necessarily good for the business finances).
I Repeat, Though…. The ACA Is Now Law
We saw it signed by an elected Congress. Our own President signed it as well. We were the people who put those on Congress and our President onboard to make these decisions. Even the Republicans didn’t win back the Senate — due to our votes — therefore allowing the ACA, which most Republicans oppose, to continue on.
Even the U.S. Supreme Court deliberated on the legality of the Act, coming to the conclusion that it is, in fact, sound. We’ve already had the government spend billions and billions of dollars to make sure this Act gets put into effect. We’re on that road, and there’s no turning back.
Since That Government Shutdown, It’s Clear….
Being vehement about a disagreement does nothing. It shuts everything down. It’s as if you’re a cartoon character on a road, staring at another cartoon character, and neither one wants to move out of the way. It’s stubbornness.
The fact is the ACA was already passed. It’s already a law. Let it go. Or else small businesses everywhere would suffer greatly due to federal contracts for some companies under non-payment, which can be disastrous after only a few weeks of no revenue coming in.
Think, too, about the many employees working for the government. What about them? They get no income. Our debt ceiling wouldn’t be raised at all. Credit ratings drop. Borrowing increases, and the stock market could be crippled.
Think of it like a house of cards. The government is just one card — but that one card can make the whole house collapse.
Sadly, Republicans Don’t Seem to Understand That
They assume that the ACA will be a disaster. It might. We don’t know until we see the results. Isn’t that the way it is for just about any law? Understand that a business lawyer deals with this on a daily basis. Laws change all the time. We, if we’re smart, change with it.
We have to figure out if we want to continue offering coverage, changing plans, or just paying up the new fine the ACA will mandate. Understand, though, this important fact about business: we make these decisions all the time.
We make adjustments every day. We factor in costs. We adjust pricing to account for changes in the law. This is our everyday operation. It’s sad to see that Republicans think we can’t prepare for this.
The ACA’s here to stay. We accept that. We may not like it (or at least some of us don’t), but it is the law, and we’ll persevere through it. That’s what businesses do. I can ask Washington, though, to focus on one thing — other than the crappy shutdown that had occurred, which did nothing for us — and that’s to find some other way to reduce our government deficits.
Think of social security, maybe. How about Medicare and Medicaid? Do your job and not worry about ours. We’ll do our jobs just fine.
Matt Faustman is the CEO at UpCounsel. You can follow his business insights on Twitter at @upcounsel.