Niagara Gazette

Columns

September 30, 2013

CONFER: Obamacare harmful to chambers of commerce

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — But, they’re not comparing apples to apples. The HMO used in the comparison has everything that you’d expect of health insurance – affordable copays, access to doctors and hospitals of your choice, and low out-of-pocket expenses. The state’s gold plan, on the other hand, covers just 80% of expenses. So, compared to an HMO plan, consumers will be paying much more, not necessarily up front in the premium but when all is said and done, as any services utilized will be billed to the insured at 20% of total cost. At that rate, a stay in the hospital will bankrupt working class families. Even fees for lab work, emergency rooms, and the like will strike many an unsuspecting pocketbook.

What does that mean for chambers? After having lost their partners who naively buy into Obamacare propaganda, overall chamber membership could decrease by a quarter for chambers across the nation.

If chambers’ primary revenues wither away, in order to maintain the same quality of service when it comes to marketing and civics, they will have to boost their rates. That increase could make or break the budget of a very small participant (like an ice cream stand or diner), especially if that corporation purchases health insurance through the chamber, because, accordingly, insurance costs will rise for everyone in the chamber because the buying power of that co-op decreases when people leave it.

Or, to keep everything inexpensive, and not lose more paying customers, chambers might also ditch services deemed less important to the overall goal of the chamber to promote the region they serve. As an outcome, policy arms will be cast aside. That plays to the favor of Big Government because the small businesses would lose the skills and abilities of someone deeply involved in public affairs.

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