Legislative / Regulatory

Health care reform: Bad for business?

Fever More than 30 million more Americans will now have coverage under the health care reform act that's been signed into law.

That's the good news.

The bad news? According to Don McDaniel, there's a lot of it from a small business point of view.

McDaniel is president of Baltimore-based Sage Growth Partners, a group that provides insight and advice to health care organizations like hospitals, health systems, physicians groups and others. He also has taught health economics for the past 12 years at Johns Hopkins, so he knows a thing or two about America's health care system ... and he doesn't find much to like in the new law.

Higher taxes and a huge administrative burden are at the top of McDaniel's list of reasons to dislike it, but they're just the start.

"This law takes us even further away from the free-market principles that so ably direct about five-sixths of our economy," McDaniel said. "... The notion that a bunch of central planners in DC are better able to signal appropriate prices and incentives than a marketplace that now involves more than 300 million people is pretty scary and arrogant.

"The only optimism that I really have is this: I have a real hope that innovation will continue to knock on the door of health care and drive real changes in the system," he added. "I hope employers finally figure out what's happening to them and their employees and hold up their hands and say, 'No more.' ... I anticipate that the level of confusion and angst will drive people to want change and a better system."

I spoke with McDaniel at length recently about the new law and what it means for small businesses ... and about other trends in health care that bear watching. Listen to what he had to say in this CPA Spotlight podcast.

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What do you think of the new health care reform law? Let us know, then check out these related resources:


Bill Sheridan