Is national health care law bad for business?

GERMANTOWN — Now that the national health care law has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican opponents are making the case that the law is bad for business. Democrats disagree, saying the law will ultimately lower health care costs for everyone.

Republicans and Democrats can’t seem to agree on what impact the national health care law will have on business.

“The biggest issue I hear is small businesses saying they can’t afford access to health care today. Pushing through a massive tax increase would have a negative impact on the economy. I don’t think it’s the way to do it,” Republican Gov. Scott Walker said.

“Those small businesses that say they might have a burden?  There’s small business tax credits available through the federal government to help them do just that,” Sen. Chris Larson (D – Milwaukee) said.

The Affordable Care Act requires businesses with over 50 employees to provide health insurance or pay penalties. The law says smaller companies can receive a tax credit to offset the cost of providing insurance.

Some critics of the law have predicted businesses will no longer have an incentive to cover their employees.

Bradley Corp. is a family-owned business based in Menomonee Falls. Its CEO says he’s not sure what the ultimate effect of the law will be.

“The jury’s still out. There’s some costs that we don’t really know, that are going to be out there yet. I think it’s too early for us to figure that out, although our CFO is working on those types of things. We got to take care of our people. We’re not going to throw them under the bus.  I would just as soon us take came of them than somebody else,” Bradley Corp. CEO Donald Mullett said.

Mullett says he would like to see health care costs come down a bit.

Gov. Walker says an in-state solution would be better for businesses than a national law, but Larson argues the patchwork approach is precisely what’s not working.

Gov. Walker said he would not begin working on setting up an insurance exchange or market until after November’s election.

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