Wednesday, December 7 , 2016, 6:04 am | Fair 45º

 
 
 

Tom Donohue: What’s Next for Businesses and Health Care?

This month marks the third anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act becoming law, and there are still a lot businesses that don’t know about the health reform law.

PPACA has created enormous uncertainty for companies of every size — especially America’s small businesses. Without knowing what taxes, fines, fees and rules they’ll be subjected to — and without having a lot of guidance on how to comply with all that red tape — it’s hard for business owners to plan. It’s hard for them to invest and hire as well as know how to offer coverage to their employees.

On top of that, the law contains $800 billion in higher taxes and hundreds of new regulations and mandates that will drive up costs and eliminate jobs, creating even more instability and uncertainty in our economy.

But one thing is certain: Outright repeal is not a practical option.

The business community’s challenge now is to be engaged with the Obama administration as it issues rules to flesh out the policies and implement the new requirements over the next four years. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already filed nearly 60 comment letters, which have led to several significant improvements in health-care regulations. We will continue to represent and protect the interests of consumers and businesses during this critical process.

The business community will work to mitigate the damage done to companies and employers as the implementation of PPACA continues, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that the American health-care system still needs reform.

Even with 2,700 pages of legislation, significant challenges remain. Health-care costs are climbing, and too many Americans will continue to be uninsured or underinsured. Patients have inadequate information on the quality and value of many services, hindering their ability to make well-informed choices about their care. More Americans are suffering from preventable chronic diseases that significantly drive up health-care costs.

Even as PPACA is being implemented, the Chamber of Commerce will work to advance crucial reforms to the health-care system. It is essential that we fix our entitlement programs, control rising costs for employers and families, improve wellness and prevent chronic diseases, expand access to insurance and health services, raise the quality of patient care, and advance innovation.

Just because we’ve been saddled with a burdensome law doesn’t mean we have to settle for a dysfunctional health system. If the business community works together, we can minimize the negative impact of PPACA and lead the charge on the market-driven solutions that will help deliver the kind of health-care system America deserves.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >