The Impact of National Health Care Law on Businesses in Washington State
Roger Stark, Health Care Policy Analyst, June, 2010
After fourteen months of debate, and with narrow partisan support and substantial bipartisan opposition in Congress, President Obama signed major health care reform legislation into law. Polls consistently show the President’s health plan is unpopular with the public. At no point in the history of the United States has such broad, wide-sweeping social legislation become law by such a slim political margin.
From now on, the federal government will manage the health care of all Washingtonians. The national health law will effect every person in Washington state, but will have specific consequences for employers. This paper, part of a series from Washington Policy Center, examines the new law’s impact on businesses.
Washington state has about 193,000 small businesses with less than 20 full time employees, 14,000 moderate-sized companies with 20 to 50 employees, and 8,800 larger firms with more than 50 employees. These companies employ a total of more than 2.8 million people. Although the health care law will effect different groups of workers differently, it does impose some common rules and regulations on all employers. The law will be phased in, and will be fully implemented by 2018.