“If the health care reform law is not repealed or if the employer mandate doesn’t go away, we’re going to have to take drastic action,” explains Scott Womack, an Indiana small business owner.

On the first anniversary of the passage of Obamacare, Womack sat down with The Heritage Foundation to outline what the bill means for the future of his business.

Under the year-old law, Womack must provide health insurance to all full-time employees. Right now, he employs nearly 1,000 full- and part-time workers and he already provides insurance to his management staff. He simply doesn’t have the money to do more.

Womack estimates the cost of the law to his company to be 50 percent greater than his company’s earnings — in other words, beyond his ability to pay.

Without these profits, Womack will be unable to invest in new restaurants, which will not only impact his restaurant employees but local investors and developers as well.

Womack isn’t the only business owner discussing the impact of Obamacare on his bottom line today. The CEO of Starbucks has doubled-back on his support of the law after seeing how the increased regulations will impact his bottom line.

How do you think Obamacare will impact you, your job and your family?

Comments (44)

Donna Rott - March 22, 2011

I just figured up what % of our income is spent on healthcare and health insurance today. We spent 34.4% of our income in 2009 and 34.7% of our income in 2010 on medical costs and health insurance. It is getting beyond our ability to afford all the insurance we must carry to protect our farms (our livelihood) from the cost of healthcare. Those percentages include the cost of Nursing Home Insurance which was taken out 11 years ago in order to protect the farms. The nursing home insurance has not been updated to include the tremendous increase in costs in the last 11 years. We are now 81 and 72 years old and have retired 4 years ago, so there is no way to save more for retirement. I completely understand the plight of friends that can’t afford their drugs that are necessary to remain alive.

William Hughes - March 22, 2011

I believe that if OBAMACARE is not repealed and Obama is not replaced in ’12, that Seniors will sooner, than later, be required to buy healthcare. This will be over and above, what is required now. Social Security Part B. I also believe that advantage and supplement plans will be outlawed.

Larry W Jackson - March 22, 2011

We are a CPA firm that works with many types of industries. The increase cost will have basically the same effect on all of our clients. Fewer employees working, less profits for the businesses, and even fewer businessess due to the inability to afford the increased cost therby forcing them to shut the door.

Bruce Niehm - March 22, 2011

I believe that if this bill is not repealed the health care costs for my family will go up, without a doubt.
I think that we should do everything to repeal this bill, starting with defunding the $105 billion to implement. Thanks.

Jo Ann Allen - March 22, 2011

Yes for sure he already has through Medicare, Social Security, I have a retirement from a place I worked at for 32 years and I lost money on my retirement they cut it. We have not gotten a COLA from Social Security for 3 years and prices keep going up and up look at food and gas prices how can seniors survive.

Robert Flood - March 22, 2011

Obamacare is the same kind of budget busting gimme that the Democrats have so successful doled out to the Unions over the years. We see what that has done to countless State and Local government budgets, many already bankrupt. Now these knuckleheads want to do it to the entire country. The problem is most of these people have never done anything but go to school and then on to government jobs. They have absolutely no concept of (and worse yet, no interest in) what makes business run. They think the private sector is a cash cow there for their pleasure. Capital absorbed into Government is capital no longer at work.
Obama care will suck the air out of the economy, stunt already weak growth, and stall re-employment, all the while being being nothing but another typically bloated, horrendously inefficient, overpriced big government boondoggle. How many times do we have to see this movie before we get it.

Front Royal,Va

Arlene Carle - March 22, 2011

I already know how ObamaCare has impacted my former employer. No more medical insurance for retirees. More limited coverage this year. Last year, we had a $1,000 well health care benefit. When ObamaCare eliminated limits, our insurer eliminated this benefit. Starting in 2012, employees 50 and under will no longer have secondary (to Medicare) medical insurance as a retirement benefit. Employees and retirees 50 and over will be phased out of the supplementary medical insurance program. All Federal Insurance programs are monsterous. Few general practitioners where I live will accept Medicare patients because of slow pay and reimbursement rates that cause the doctor to lose money on every Medicare patient treated. The Indian Health plan runs out of money by the middle of the year. VA patients wait unreasonable lengths of time and endure ridiculous red tape for treatment. Flood insurance encourages people to build where loss is a certainty – and the certain loss is passed on to us taxpayers. The Federal Government should get out of the insurance business althogether.

Midwife - March 22, 2011

Competition in the insurance industry can only do so much. The real savings would be in allowing more competition in the health care market. Currently physicians and hospitals have a monopoly on the system in state law and federal and insurance reimbursement. While we need physicians and hospitals, the impact of allowing other health care providers such as nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, chiropractors, dental hygienists, etc. to practice without having a physician “supervisor” or “sponsor” or “collaborator” will add competition. It will not only decrease the cost of care but also increase access to care with very good outcomes. Also utilizing home birth and freestanding birth centers for the women who want that experience will decrease costs of childbirth. http://www.birthcenters.org

Tom Crist - March 22, 2011

Reading the comments already posted, it looks like we’re all in the same boat. I’m in the convenience store/gas business. I know everyone is paying $3.50+ per gallon for gas right now, but I’m not the one making anything on it – in fact less than when it sells for less (credit card fees). Most people wouldn’t take the risk we (in our business) do, for the profit we earn. Obamacare throws it all out the window. It might make me turn the front door keys in to my banker. This is what happens when America elects a President who’s never had a job in his life.

Matthew - March 22, 2011

Mr. Womack states, “I really believe you can’t put a mandate on business like this unless you know that an industry can actually pay for it.”

Isn’t that kind of thinking what got us into this mess to begin with? I really believe you can’t put a mandate on business like this unless it is constitutional. Just because an industry may be able to pay doesn’t mean it should be made to pay.

Joanne - March 22, 2011

I believe if it’s not repealed there will eventually be rationing of care and much longer waits for medical services. Only those who can afford to pay a doctor on the side will be able to get faster care as well. There will not be enough doctors to care for everyone. Many doctors are retiring or joining up with hospitals instead of remaining in private practice where they can no longer afford the medical coverage and regulations that are making it difficult to stay in business. In addition, I believe we will see a resurgence of the “death panels” that were in the bill. Not sure if those death panels were removed from final bill, but be assured if government begins to run out of money to pay for our healthcare, death panels will resurge. This has got to be REPEALED!!!

Annika Carman - March 22, 2011

This administration has already greatly impacted the cost of our employer sponsered health plan. Last year, premiums went up 18% at renewal time; this shortly after the passage of COBRA (extension) legislation. This year, we were hit with a health premium increase of over 26%. Our staff of 16 people pays 50% of their health premium, so everyone is impacted. In addition to premium increase, the quality of (HMO’s & PPO’s) plans provisions has decreased; Out of pocket expenses are much higher, so are deductibles and co-pays. We decided on Av-med which is a ‘not for profit’ entity and was still somewhat affordable. Had we gone with BCBS, the premium increase (this year alone) would have been 46%… We’re located in an area where health premiums are amongst the highest in the country (S. Fla.). Going forward, we would pay for further increase in health premium by cancelling our 401k employer contributions – and since most of our staff is middle aged, it is not ideal. Elections have consequences, I suppose.

The so called ‘tax credits’ to small business employers (offering health insurance) would not benefit us. Our staff is mostly managerial and their income is higher than government allows.

Joe - March 22, 2011

I watched Glen Beck show today, Mar. 22nd. Check his website for the info. He says in may the SEIU is going to strike against JP Morgan Chase in an effort to cause economic collapse. Recall JP Morgan’s CEO was recently appointed as Chief of Staff to obama’s administration. WARNING FOLKS. PAY ATTENTION!!!

Bruce Gingerich - March 22, 2011

ObamaCare is unconstitutional and goes against American Exceptionallism. Our nation was founded on the fact that we are born with inalienable rights and natural laws. Socialized medicine goes against these basic principles. This gives too much power to a small group of people (flawed humans!). It will not work.

Bernard Sokolsky - March 22, 2011

I agree 100% with Mr. Womack. I am a fast food franchise owner employing 145 employees. I simply will not be able to even pay the penalty of $2000 – $3000 per employee if Obamacare prevails. I am seriously looking at bankruptcy in 2014 if this outrageous law stands. I have sent numerous emails to my two senators, Jim Webb and Mark Warner, and have heard no acceptable response.

John R. Whalen - March 22, 2011

My Company provides metal buildings for Government, Commercial and Industrial Clients. The only current buisness we have is Government. Staff have been layed off, and we see no prospects of returning them. Thank’s O’Bama.

GENE MOODY - March 22, 2011


Kendall Busk - March 22, 2011

I own a small construction company. Since Obama, Reed and Pelosi have took control we have laid off all our employees. Myself along with the other officers of the of the corporation have been less than part time. Because we are officers we cannot collect unemployment, thus we are considered employed. What a joke! We see no hope until Obama is out in 2012 and the Senate and House are turned over to a conservative membership. Obama Care is not conservative! We cannot survive with Liberalism.

Dorothy A. Mulhern - March 22, 2011

Womack certainly allows that whereas he can’t afford
health insurance for his workers ( how many illegals does he employ? ) that the money for health insurance must come from somewhere, such as the worker. What
Heritage does not approach, if the worker pays for his/her insurance, will Womack’s premiums go down for his management employees? In terms of food and shelter health coverage in vital, especially for the
unemployed. My solution is recovery for all those
beneficiaries of bailouts who are still holding on to
those funds, to pay the health insurance. Heritage
is like one-sided bookkeeping as it relates to healthcare,
it has no solutions.

Virginia Murrell - March 22, 2011

It’s already affected my insurance. I’ve had my insurance for over 20 years. Always affordable always reliable. Now, in the last 6 months I’ve had two increases in premium totalling over 35%. The increases were due to including children on my policy and inclusion of pre existing conditions. Both had nothing to do with me. More increases are coming and, yes, my carrier has offered other plans, however, they increase coverage and that means increased premium. No, I am not happy with Obamacare. It is illegal.

martycase - March 22, 2011

I closed my business in November. The incompetence and corruption of every agency is beyond any horror movie. The government can lie, cheat and steal; however, can run nothing! Big business is no better.
I view this country as following a communist agenda with NO enforcement of anti-trust as the #1 killer to private business (health care is the topper). One agency after another, headed by a moron, is financially attacking us every day. Now, they MUST take our health! That’s all that’s left. People feel we have NO power.

Melba, Alberton, MT - March 22, 2011

I have already seen my Medicare Advantage premiums go up 30% and my co-pay also went up by 50%. This is the last year I will be able to exercise my right to choose my own insurance. Because I see that the premiums will continue to go up and I will be forced into regular Medicare. I will then loose the dental and vision coverage that the Advantage program has. My doctor has also notified me that he will not be able to take Medicare patients after the first of the year unless his rate of reimbursement is restored to previous levels. He was loosing money then, the new rates make it impossible for him to continue taking Medicare patients.

Kevin - March 23, 2011

“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
Thomas Jefferson

Lorraine Turowski - March 23, 2011

Repeal Obamacare. Then get him out of office!

John Magin/ New York - March 23, 2011

Repeal of OBAMACARE is the reason we voted for Republicans in the last election. My greatest fear is that they didn’t get the message, which will result in a third party candidate in 2012. the nation cannot survive another 4 yrs. of OBAMA!!!

Al Westbrook - March 23, 2011

The unconstitutional Obamacare law is simply bad for everybody, except for the many thousands exempted by Barack Hussein Obama. It’s a job killer, a small business killer and a healthcare killer.

Bob Lavoie - March 23, 2011

I established my Plumbing & Heating company in 1976 and managed to survive through many economic downturns, until now. This health care plan, if it does not get repealed, will put me out of business. The government bureacrats (including our president) who are making these decisions do not have a clue. They have their agenda and that’s it. They do not know what it takes to run a small business, nor the adjustments and sacrifices we make everyday to survive this economy and their stupid mandates. Obama must replaced 2012 or my business and I will be finished! I don’t have a retirement plan, and I can not collect un-employment. Where’s my bailout fund?
Bob, Hooksett, N.H.

Tim Gillespie - March 23, 2011

When your deductible must be 25% of a year’s income in order to afford the minimum premiums, which now equal 1/3 of an hourly wage for some workers, it’s time to take drastic measures. Obamacare will assuredly destroy small business, as planned. Why are we not doing everything possible to stop this, including impeachment?

KATHY WALTON - March 23, 2011

I do not know what is going on in my community, but recently in the news was the announcement that two hospitals have merged and my question is what is behind this? They are in two separate towns and my guess is that services will be scaled down. There was also a mention of going”not for profit”? This is puzzling, not in business to make money? The hospitals are Memorial and Elkhart General if you could check this story out. Thank you.

Nancy Miller - March 23, 2011

I think I know who is at the bottom of not gaining the reapeal of Obamacare. Harry Reid. I think that each and every American should send him a letter (registered) telling him to start looking fo the good of the country, not the good of Harry Reid and repeal this awful legislation.
Maybe if his office is deluged with requests he won’t be able to ignore us any more.

Sonja Nelson - March 23, 2011

We all have differing opinions on health care in America, but Obamacare in UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Craig Scurato - March 23, 2011

excellent video that helps those who do not actually run a business quantify the difference in revenue per EE and Profit per EE. The reality is that if ObamaCare stays in place, Mr. Womack would be better off paying the $2k fine ($1/hr).

Mr. Pence is my favorite, but he is also off a little on the problem. Just bunching thousands (versus tens or hundreds) of people who expect every health related expense to be paid by “insurance” in an Association Health Plan does not reduce costs. Also, the “buying insurance across State lines” is a little misleading. Of course someone in San Francisco or NYC would like to buy a policy based on the relative expenses of Terre Haute or Kansas City – it is not that simple. He needs to discuss the 50 state regulation and special interest mandates and tort reform that drive the cost differences of polices in each State.

Ultimately the best thing that we could do is to stop the 3rd party pay system for health insurance. You could make some simple insurance regulations to protect consumers and allow insurance companies to select the risk like they can in all other forms of insurance. The cost/quality curve for Lasik and boob jobs is similar to technology because consumers pay and not insurance plans. Let’s get employers out of the benefit providing business and into the opportunity to create wealth for individuals business. Everyone wins that way.

Jimmie - March 23, 2011

I am a senior citizen and I feel that we seniors will be
denied much of the coverage we now have. Our care will be rationed or denied . This awful attack on our freedom must
be stopped!! Please!!!

Margaret Lee - March 23, 2011

My business is to negotiate commercial insurance policies. Very few know the internal workings of a health insurance policy. There are optional riders attached; voluntary abortion; no deductible for chiropratic doctors, cosmetic surgery, minimal or no deductibles etc. Major PPO health insurance can be affordable if the optionals are removed, people assume resonable responsibility and the insuranace companies can control cost with known variables.
Obamacare requires businesses (except union owned or Obama contributors) to insure all “children” until 26 years of age whether or not they are financially dependent, living at home, students or other. That unknown variable alone forces insurance companies to increase costs.
In 2010, PPOs doubled in cost. Some employers established an HHR and converted to HMOs. Obamacare will require employees to pay taxes on all healthcare benefits including employer contributions to HHR benefits. The cost of benefits must be reported on W2 forms by 2012. The taxes will not be implemented until after the 2012 election. Obamacare has and will continue to increase cost, reduce benefits and eliminate competition.
Repeal Obamacare. It is not about health or care. As Michigan Congressman Dangel said on WJR radio, it takes time to get things in place to control the people.

Engage the public by directing them to the section of the bill which can be looked up on line or in most libraries to confirm a point. Wish it was available for this writing.
The government promotes propaganda against “rich” employers and “price gouging” insurance companies so that working Americans will not notice what is in store for them. Employees are unaware of all the benefits provided by their employers.
Stand up for all employers. They provide paychecks, benefits and freedom. The government controls, taxes and penalizes.
Margaret Lee

Thomas Clarke - March 23, 2011

I am in the restaurant business and employee 200 people. Obamacare will drastically reduce the earnings and life style of my employees. Most will be reducxedto part time status. They will take buses between part time jobs. Experienced higher priced managers will be terminated and replaced with cheaper people. … The reality is consumers are not loyal. And small restaurants will be given a huge advantage with the 25 employee waiver. Many people I offer insurance to do not want it either because their kids get it free with NY programs and they laugh when I ask for a small co-pay. They say they walk in to emergency rooms with aliases and get treated for free, …

Nicholas Feliccia - March 23, 2011

Socialized medicine doesn’t work. Why do people cross our border to use our health care? It’s the best in the world and I feel like we are losing more and more of our freedom.
Yes, I do miss George W. Bush.

Nicholas Feliccia - March 23, 2011

Obamacare, yes hope and change. I hope I have a little change to buy gas and food.

John F. Hunt - March 23, 2011

It is really simple. I have ben successful in starting businesses with inventions and new concepts for using salvage. I have two more inventions that I have been thinking of putting on the market that have tested very well in market studies, however I would have to be a total moron to spend a dime toward any start up in this administration. Eastsound Washington State.

Kerry Nipp - March 23, 2011

Our President…. is blatantly ignoring his oath of office, Obamacare is one example, his recent attack on Libya without consulting Congress is another unconstitutional act by our arrogant leader! I say Impeach Him! hold Him accountable for His action’s!

Carol - March 23, 2011

ObamaCare has already affected us. My husband and I are approaching retirement and we thought that we had planned adequately. Now, however, in addition to our medical bills which are substantial, we are finding that my elderly parents are finding it difficult to keep up with rising medical costs. Already we notice a difference in what had been previously paid, and is now not. Also, my parents, who are in their mid 80’s and on Medicare are not receiving the medical attention from doctors like they used to. It seems that doctors are finding that Medicare isn’t as profitable.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, I’m afraid, unless this monstrosity piece of legislation is repealed. If you want to get a real eye-opener as to how this Obamacare will cover you, go to the website of Dr. Janda and watch his video.

WAKE-UP People!!!!

Joann Balfour - March 24, 2011

The exact plan we had last contract year, increased 30% this year in premiums, due to what’s now in effect and what is coming if this thing continues. I’ve always thought that my medical care was a relationship with my doctors/medical care givers, and that medical insurance was a contract with ME and the INSURANCE company to help me pay my bills. I’m the CONSUMER of BOTH, therefore; I’m in charge.
Since the ’80’s, with T. Kennedy’s HMO’s, HIPPA, etc. gov’t has gotten in the middle of BOTH of these relationships.

Randall Bradley - March 24, 2011

The cost of a fully implemented Obamacare is more than my profit. Congress was mistaken to think that how many employees a business has determines whether they can afford to provide health insurance to all their employees. The key number is profit per employee. If a business makes more than $10,000 profit per employee, they can afford it whether they have 5 employees or 500. Likewise, a business that makes $1,000 profit per employee cannot afford it, whether they have 5 employees or 500.
I have worked hard to build my business for 21 years. It frightens me to think that the greatest threat to bankrupt me and put me out of business comes not from my competitors, but from my own government.

Christine C. Outlaw - March 24, 2011

If Obama Care is not declared in total, un Constitutional,
most seniors living on modest retirement and SS incomes, will have to declare bankruptcy!

Frederick N. Evans - March 26, 2011

I am 79. So far, because it has not yet been implemented, I have seen no change in my medical care. As soon as it IS implemented, I expect to be denied the care I need, especially since my ills are REPEATS of earlier conditions. I have EXCELLENT Health Care Benefits NOW that began for me in 1957, and I DO NOT WANT THEM CHANGED by Obamacare. Nor do I want to be told by the Government what is good for me. That’s between me, my Doctor, and my Creator.

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