June 28--With the Supreme Court's decision on Thursday, June 28, to uphold the federal health law, more companies could stop offering insurance benefits.
That's the view, at least, of Larry Kocina, the owner Kocina Branding and Marketing Companies in Burnsville.
Beginning in 2014, the health law will impose a $2,000 fine per full-time employee on companies with 50 or more workers that do not offer coverage. The per-employee fine is a much smaller cost, Kocina said, than the tab for health insurance.
"It becomes a simple economic issue," he said. Health insurance is "my third highest cost of doing business. ... If I have something that will reduce that, I'll reduce it."
But Kocina isn't necessarily pleased about the change.
For starters, he thinks employers buying coverage on the private market have done a good job providing health benefits to workers. Plus, Kocina expects the government eventually will increase the size of the per-employee fine on companies.
Right now, Kocina has slightly fewer than 50 employees, so he wouldn't be subject to the fine if he stopped offering coverage. But the prospect of a fine will factor into decisions he makes about whether to try growing his business.
"I can't understand the details of the health care law, but I can understand that this is going to harm my business," Kocina said. "I'm just a free-market guy -- I think the government is clumsy."
Christopher Snowbeck can be reached at 651-228-5479. Follow him at twitter.com/chrissnowbeck.
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