5/21/2013 6:58:01 PM
That's a tiny fraction of small businesses.
As of 2010, there were roughly 5.7 million small employers, defined as those with fewer than 500 workers. Some 97% of them have fewer than 50 employees. That means Obamacare's employer mandate applies only to 3% of America's small businesses.
That's about 200,000 companies.
Why so much focus on so few firms?
"The more money these companies have to spend complying with health care mandates, the less they have to hire and expand," the spokesman said.
Those costs aren't anything to laugh at. If they don't provide insurance, businesses with 50-plus workers face $40,000 in penalties and $2,000 for each additional full-time employee.
However, nearly all of those businesses already do provide insurance: 96% of those with 50-plus workers currently offer health plans anyway, according to government data.
"The mandates are for a lot more coverage than the average person would want, need or can afford. The business is going to have to spend time, money and have to figure that out," Barrasso said.
For example, firms might be providing insurance that Obamacare deems unaffordable -- that is, if it costs more than 9.5% of a worker's income.
Putting it all together, the data shows that only a tiny sliver of the nation's small businesses face the new rules -- and even fewer face any changes. Of the country's 6.5 million workplaces, only 1% must actually start providing insurance next year.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality