President Barack Obama is promoting the benefits of his health insurance legislation for small-business owners, as well as for individuals. The law is formally known as the Affordable Care Act.
Obamacare has been packaged as a personal prescriptive that helps individual Americans. It's NancyCare, MarkCare and HelenCare, according to the White House. A White House website details personal stories of small-business owners who adamantly support the controversial 2010 law. The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing the law's fate.
“The healthcare law is about people like me. It’s NancyCare," says Nancy Clark, owner of Glen Group, a small advertising and marketing agency in North Conway, New Hampshire. Her story on the website says that she received two years of tax credits for offering health insurance to her employees.
"The best way I know to attract and keep good people is to have a good benefits program," says small-business owner Mark Hodesh in a video interview on the White House blog. "Healthcare is a big part of that program." Hodesh operates Downtown Home and Garden, a decades-old shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The White House hopes to keep the conversation going by asking small-business owners to submit stories on how the law helped them.
What the law includes
When the law was passed, many healthcare professionals and economists welcomed it as a way—albeit an imperfect one—to cover many of the 50 million Americans lacking medical insurance.
The law bars insurers from rejecting applicants for pre-existing conditions and expands Medicaid coverage. It lets young adults stay longer on their parents’ insurance and creates a healthcare marketplace where Americans can buy policies at reduced rates.
The law also gives tax credits to small businesses. The idea, according to the White House, is to make it easier for business owners to provide coverage for workers. In 2011, 2 million workers at 360,000 businesses took advantage of the tax credit.
Where it currently stands
The law remains hotly contested by most Republicans and many business groups. They say it is too costly and will not solve the overuse and waste problems straining the American healthcare system.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney argues that Obama’s healthcare law hurts small businesses. He says that the law raised taxes on individual and corporate taxpayers by $500 billion. Romney says he would issue an executive order to allow states to opt out of Obamacare on his first day in office. He promises to press Congress to repeal the law.
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