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A PRESCRIPTION TO HELP MAIN STREET MASSACHUSETTS

January 2, 2019 by Jon Hurst, President

As we celebrate the New Year and look optimistically at the future, many small business owners are facing 2019 with fear for their profitability, given new state payroll mandates on wages and paid leave.

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Small Business Health Premiums Keep Rising More Than Others; RAM Seeks Regulatory Fairness

September 24, 2018  by Jon Hurst, President

Recently, the Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) presented their 2018 Annual Report. The report was widely reported in the press for showing much slower overall growth in healthcare spending: 1.6% vs. the state’s 3.1% benchmark, and recent 4 year average of 3.6% increases. Yet, totally missed by the press and general public was how the increased costs were disparately distributed among a wide variety of consumers. Dissecting how the overall healthcare “pie” is divided is extremely important for small businesses, as important questions remain whether costs are being fairly distributed across all classes of purchasers.

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HEY BIG HEALTHCARE, PAY THE SALES TAX LIKE THE REST OF US!

May 17, 2017  By Jon Hurst
 

As the fiscal year 2018 state budget gets closer to implementation on July 1, it is becoming clearer that employers will be asked in some way to help fund a state Medicaid budget gap.  The MassHealth budget has exploded under a combination of ACA related costs, mixed up consumer incentives, and a lack of provider expense control.  And until the state can institute some guardrails, and move some over to more appropriate and affordable options, it appears that employers will be asked to fund some of the increased costs over a two year period. 

Important discussions on the economic impact to small businesses have lowered the dollar ask and have allowed for discussions of better taxing plans, but still absent from the negotiations is skin in the game from the providers themselves.  A proposal to cap commercial rate increases for the big, high cost providers was lost in the flood of unparalleled political power by “non-profit,” non-taxpaying healthcare providers.   They aren’t shy about asking for more money from consumers, employers and taxpayers, but ask them to pay taxes or reduce their expenses, and they pull out all the stops to deflect the conversation.

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Healthcare Is An Expense Problem, A Law Problem, Not A Revenue Problem

January 26, 2017 by Jon B. Hurst, President

ObamaCare (ACA) is under the microscope for repeal and replacement this year in Washington DC.  And here in Boston, yet another state commission on healthcare provider prices is grappling with the fact that in the 11 years since we passed RomneyCare, our healthcare costs have annually increased about 4 times the rate of inflation.  Unfortunately for Main Street, those increases haven’t been spread equally either—small businesses and their employees have seen far higher premium increases than those experienced by big business or big government programs. 

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RESULTS OF SURVEY ON HEALTH INSURANCE

APR. 3, 2015 • BY JON HURST

For more than a decade since the debate and passage of Chapter 58—or “RomneyCare”—RAM has made it a top priority to seek health insurance marketplace equality and legal fairness for small businesses and their employees. Numerous state reforms created opportunities for that fairness in premiums, including the passage of legislation authorizing small business cooperatives. But a combination of overbearing and preemptive federal rules under the ACA, as well as an explosion of state health insurance mandates have created the most costly and unfair market, and economic stifling environment for small businesses in recent memory. The bottom line is that the employees of small businesses are in effect second class consumers under the law and in the market for health insurance. The unfair levels of cross subsidies, the rising premiums, and the inequality in choices in coverage are little understood, yet are very real and very discriminatory.

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