Bob Patten of Woodbridge, Va., Worries About Health Care Law

5:36 PM, Mar 27, 2012   |    comments
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WOODBRIDGE, Va.  (WUSA) Bob Patten runs four child care centers, a Christian school and a tax accounting service all in Woodbridge.

"Happy Tuesday," he says as he presses the code on the door of the Cornerstone Christian Academy. His sunny demeanor belies his underlying fears of what the Affordable health Care Act will do to his accounting businesses.

"Having a mandate that requires us to do this is the part that really scares me," said Patten.

If the individual mandate is struck down, it could create unbearable expenses for some companies.
But even if the law remains intact, many business people oppose it because it requires a business with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance.
Since Patten has more than 50 employees, he's worried about having to purchase insurance he's not sure he can afford.

"We all need affordable health care, there's no question about it. I don't think I don't think a government-mandated program is the way to go because eventually the cost is going to spiral out of control even worse than it is now," said Patten.

Patten says he's tried several times to bring health insurance to his employees. One time, it was working for awhile until people left or dropped out of the plan, signing on to their spouses, and when only one employee was left on the policy, the insurance company dropped them. He is skeptical about the government's involvement.

"I'm very aware that the same politicians that promised they olden't touch the Social Security 'lock box" trust fund have helped themselves to it over the years, I mean, what, this isn't going to happen that way, Come on," he complained.

Patten says the real problem of rising health care costs has not been addressed... such as malpractice and tort reform. He's watching the Supreme Court case closely and hopes the high court strikes it down so that congress can came up with something else.

Not all small business owners are against the new law.
Some who do offer insurance are already taking advantage of the law's small business tax credit -- which reduces health-care premiums.   They fear overturning the law will send healthcare backwards.



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