Business Owners React to Health Care Ruling - 8 News NOW

Business Owners React to Health Care Ruling

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LAS VEGAS -- Business owners closely watched the United States Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act today. 

Some who already provide insurance to their employees say the bill is lowering their costs. Other businesses say they can't afford government penalties they will face for not providing their employees insurance.

Companies with 50 or more employees must provide a certain level of health insurance to employees. If they don't, they face thousands of dollars in fines. But owners of very small businesses say they already see cost advantages to the health care act.

"It's going to bend the cost curve and help me to continue to provide my employees and my family with health insurance coverage," said Pioneer Overhead Door owner Ron Nelsen. "This is the first year I'm not paying more for less."

Nelsen employs five people to sell and install garage doors. He provides health insurance for his employees and says he's happy the court kept the reform act intact. He says the act gave him tax credits the past two years to help provide insurance.

But restaurant general manager Jeff Ecker believes the president's health reform will end up costing jobs.

"When you have five employees and you offer insurance, that may be affordable. Once you get into the 50, 60, 70, or above (that) range, that's when it becomes extremely costly," he said.

Ecker runs Paymon's Cafe and does not provide health insurance to employees. The health reform act penalizes companies like Paymon's $2,000 for every uninsured employee. Ecker says that would cost him $100,000 a year, forcing him to close the Paymon's restaurant on Sahara Avenue.

The Nevada Restaurant Association meets tonight to see if an insurance plan they provide is allowed under state law. If that is the case, restaurants may be able to avoid those federal insurance penalties.

On the other hand, Nelson says that this is a day he's been waiting for since talk of health care reform began in 1993.

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