Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Small business owners feeling out health care ruling

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TWC News: Small business owners feeling out health care ruling
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Small businesses around Austin are reacting to the United States Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

According to national figures, there are more six million small businesses, employing 54 million people, many of whom are uninsured.

Shelly Meyer and her husband own the local boutique Wild About Music. They have two stores and fewer that 50 employees.

"We've been in business for 21 years and we've been struggling with hiring employees that need health care," Meyer said.

Under the guidelines of the government's Affordable Care Act, their business could qualify for a 50 percent tax credit.

"It will be a sea change for everyone, but I think it's something that we need to embrace, work through and get the playing field level," Meyer said.

The act creates an affordable insurance exchange, which broadens employers’ choices. The hope is to bring down insurance cost for employers..

Down the street from Meyer, Robert Ojeda is busy trying to hustle tourists for a city ‘duck tour’. It's a part-time gig. He also works as a school teacher. Before moving to Texas, Ojeda said he and his family owned a 42-employee small business that generated over $5 million in sales. Still, his company came up short on their health care plan.

"It was heartbreaking because you get stuck between a rock and hard place," he said. "The wellness plan we had was not strong, they would end up going somewhere else for a couple dollars cheaper and it was just worth it to them to have better coverage."

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