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Ignorance abounds: Obamacare and small businesses

Small Business Week in Manchester kicked off on Monday with a forum on what businesses can expect from Obamacare. Way to start the week with a downer. Business owners repeatedly were told that the information they want does not exist.

“We get asked on a daily basis what plans we’re going to offer and we have to say we’re not sure, even though we’re supposed to launch on Oct. 11 for open enrollment,” presenter Maria Proulx, senior legal counsel for Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, said.

Anthem is the only insurer participating in New Hampshire’s Obamacare-mandated “exchange,” a government-run “marketplace” in which insurers who offer policies consistent with extensive government mandates are supposed to compete for customers. New Hampshire did not create its own exchange, fearing that Obamacare would be overturned. Only 18 states are creating their own exchanges. Washington is either fully or partially designing the rest.

Also causing delays are the numerous confusing provisions in the law and its tremendous reliance on bureaucratic rule-making.

“How can we possibly plan for 2014 when the government itself is admitting they don’t know what choices we have?” a business owner asked.

Ah, the glories of government efficiency. We wonder if these business owners know yet that Sarah Hall Ingram, the IRS official in charge of the office that targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups during the time of those abuses, is now running the IRS office charged with implementing Obamacare.

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