Business experts weigh impact of Affordable Care Act - WSPA.com

Business experts weigh impact of Affordable Care Act

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

One of the elements of the Affordable Care Act that will be closely watched is how it impacts businesses, especially with the United States' economy becoming robust after a long climb out of the Great Recession.

Monday night, how the Act will impact businesses was a key part of WNCN's extended look at Obamacare in a health care forum held at the Burning Coal Theatre in downtown Raleigh.

Gary Salamido, with the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, said the impact of the Affordable Care Act "is going to vary for each business."

But the impact on smaller businesses could be particularly significant, since smaller businesses lack the staffs of their larger counterparts.

"It's complex, it's confusing, and it's costly," Salamido said. "When you put all those things into a test tube, what happens is there is an indecision. Businesses like predictability and stability so they can plan going forward. Right now they don't have that. They are trying to sort all this out."

That, Salamido said, affects whether businesses decide to add employees.

"So it's affecting growth, it's affecting whether you add one more job and what that means to you," he said. "Or do you add 10 jobs?"

"The last thing businesses want to do is hire folks and then have to re-group again. They just went through that [in the recession]. And health care is so important so you can be in a competitive position with a company that grows."

Attorney Skip Woody, of Hill, Chesson and Woody, said many companies he deals with still want to retain their staff and add talented employees.

"It's about being competitive," Woody said. "We talk about cost, but you also have to get the talent in to do the work to meet the mission of that organization. So we talk a lot about their mission and how invaluable the people are in getting there."

Only a few companies he has talked to, he said, have decided to drop coverage so far.

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