Affordable Care Act: Local Impact

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Updated: 9/26/2013 10:41 am
The Affordable Care Act is once again taking center stage in the political debate after senator Ted Cruz (R), of Texas spoke on the issue for 22 hours on the senate floor. The act is incrementally going into effect in the coming months, but how is the a-c-a affecting local business in Pocatello?

“Some businesses in the area have talked about do I work more employees in the area under that 30 hour limit so that I don’t have to provide the insurance for them. That’s unfortunate, but they’re doing business as they can best,” said Matthew Hunter, the CEO of the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce.

Hunter, with many in the nation, is talking about the affordable care act and how it will affect business, especially small business.

“Small business folks its tough enough for them to afford to run their business, to have to provide insurance when they can’t really afford to do it is very difficult,” Hunter said.

One of the biggest struggles with the affordable care act isn’t implementing the regulations, its simply understanding what they are.

Hunter explained that, “The biggest issue that we have right now with business in general is that people don’t understand what it is that they need to do, when they need to do it and were trying to do some educational stuff to help them figure that out.”

Figuring it out, it seems is the trick. Business owners that I spoke to want that education, they want to understand the affordable care act, and how it affects their business. But, in the meantime, not knowing has had an impact.

Hunted noted that, “I think the economic development world has slowed down a bit because people are really trying to figure out what does this mean how’s it going to affect my business, how’s it going to affect my cost structure.”

There is no easy answer in terms of learning about the affordable care act for business owners. According to Matthew Hunter, knowledge is power.

“I think that people just need to learn and get educated about the affordable care act. I think it’s something that we can deal with and we’ll be able to move forward and we’ll be able to expand. We just need to figure out how it works,” Hunter said.

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