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Affordable Care Act: Small businesses want answers on how to move forward

Affordable Care Act: Small businesses want answers on how to move forward

CREATED Jun 30, 2012

Reporter: Valerie Cavazos

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act leaves small businesses wondering what's ahead and how the ruling will affect how they manage their workers and their healthcare.

Raj Kohli is a Long Realty realtor who is used to answering a lot of questions, but he's stumped on how to move forward with the affordable care act. KGUN 9 reporter Valerie Cavazos asked Kohli, "Do you know what you need to provide?" He answered, "I don't. That's part of the problem because there are no details out there."

He plans to hire more workers soon, but he worries he might not have that option. "I would consider providing health care for my employees, but the question is how much does it cost?"

Carlos Ruiz wants to know too. He owns a small manufacturing company, HT Metals, and has three workers on his payroll. He offers retirement benefits as well as "paid vacation and paid sick leave." But he hasn't provided health coverage simply because it's too expensive.

He also plans to expand his business and now  worries that he'll have to reconsider how he hires. "I think what I would look at hiring temporary employees instead of full time employees," he said.

The main issues the two business owners are grappling with -- the penalty tax for not providing insurance and the minimum benefits package they must provide.

Kohli says he's hoping the media will help him figure it all out. "I don't have that much time to go through several thousands pages and understand the implications. But I would hope the media would provide a bullet point type of information and as a business owner, you would have to do this and this and have it in detail."

And that's no easy task for any entity since the Affordable Care Act is about 2,700 pages long.