5-4 Decision Affirms Individual Mandate
With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule on President Obama's health care overhaul Thursday morning, local business owners are voicing concerns. Video by fox47news.comvideo
According to reports from CNN, the Supreme Court has voted 5-4 in a decision to uphold Obamacare.
"Chief Justice John Roberts is in the majority upholding a rule on the requirement that Americans must have health insurance."
We'll have more information as it becomes available.
With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule on President Obama's health care overhaul Thursday morning, local business owners are voicing concerns.
They say the mandate is bad for business and bad for Michigan's economy.
After 33 years in business, Jersey Giant Subs owner Britton Slocum says he never imagined his future would rest with the Supreme Court.
"It's going to cost me over a third of a million dollars a year to implement this program and I don't know where I come up with $360,000 a year, I don't have that many customers a year," Slocum said.
Slocum wants to open two new stores this year, but that would put Jersey Giant's over the 50 employee mark. Under the Affordable Care Act, any new business with a crew of 50 or more must offer health insurance by 2014.
"It crushes not just our dreams, it kills us," Slocum added. "It's like putting a dagger through the heart of small business."
Most Jersey Giant workers are part time, but the law is based on the equivalent of full time, meaning two part-time sandwich makers, equal one full-timer.
"I'm hoping to grow, but I can't grow," Slocum said. "My biggest fear is where do I come up with that money if that is to pass?"
Slocum says he'll be forced to increase prices, bumping up a $7 sub to $10.
"If the Supreme Court strikes this down millions and millions of Americans are going to hurt as a result," Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer said.
Democrats believe, long term, the law is beneficial for business.
"This bill drives health care costs down and the deficit down," Brewer added.
If it stands, employers that don't comply will face penalties. Some, like manufacturer James Barnard, plan to drop coverage because the fine is more affordable.
"We've just seen costs increase, increase, increase," Barnard said. "So we've tried to offer coverage and we still want to offer coverage." But he says business in Michigan isn't easy. He needs to make a profit and hopes the Supreme Court sees his point.
The high court has several options. It could allow the act to stand as is, it could strike down portions of the law, like the individual mandate requiring Americans to purchase premiums, or it could scrap the law entirely.
The overhaul is designed to extend coverage to 32 million Americans and would come at a cost of more than $900 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.