Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Play

Warnock projected to win in U.S. Senate race for Georgia; new report urges Governor-Elect to fix PA unemployment system; rising land prices pose challenges for VA farmers.

Play

The nation watches as votes are counted in the Senate runoff in Georgia, the House holds hearings in the lame-duck session, and Capitol Police Officers receive medals for their heroism on January 6.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

IA Small Businesses Get a Lifeline with ACA Credit Extension

Play

Friday, September 23, 2022   

Average Affordable Care Act premiums in Iowa would have been 72% higher this year without temporary subsidies from the federal government, and small-business advocates say a new extension is a big help when smaller firms are trying to get back on their financial feet.

The Inflation Reduction Act included a provision to extend the ACA's premium subsidies through 2025. The extra tax credits are from an earlier pandemic-relief package and were set to run though this year.

David Chase, vice president for outreach at the Small Business Majority, said the extension removes a lot of headaches during a complicated time for owners of smaller operations.

"Only about half of small businesses are able to offer coverage," he said, "and we've seen that number drop even more since the pandemic, which makes the Inflation Reduction Act even more important."

Since its inception, Chase said, the Affordable Care Act has been a game-changer for small businesses but acknowledges owners still face challenges. He said health-care costs continue to rise, with one recent analysis noting marketplace insurers already were proposing premium hikes for 2023. Policy experts have said the subsidy extension will help buffer those higher expenses.

Shawn Phetteplace, Midwest regional manager of the Main Street Alliance, said any help small businesses can get to keep costs lower is important, since many owners already are at a disadvantage now in the fierce competition for workers.

"A lot of folks go and do jobs - that they're working for large corporations purely to get health insurance," he said. "You have folks who don't start a business because they need health insurance. You have folks that only are part-time with their business because they need health insurance."

The Inflation Reduction Act also will allow Medicare to negotiate some drug prices. Analysts have said that also could help small business owners in the future, because skyrocketing prices have made it harder to select a plan to offer to their staff.


get more stories like this via email
According to Consumer Reports, crowded windowless "factory farms" likely contribute to salmonella and campylobacter bacteria in poultry. The consumer advocacy publication suggests choosing organic-raised poultry over conventional. It acknowledges organic production is more costly. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

A new study is focused on concerns for Nebraska waterways. The three-year, independently funded research identifies rising levels of phosphorus and …


Health and Wellness

Inside a massive appropriations bill now in Congress is a provision which would allow federal funding for dental therapists. Dental therapists …

Environment

Promoting access to nature for underserved communities can improve quality of life while bolstering biodiversity and fighting climate change…


Small businesses like the Goddess Mercado in East Los Angeles employ almost half of all private-sector workers in California. (Martin Gamez/Goddess Mercado)

Social Issues

This holiday season, shopping at local small businesses could bring them as much as $88 billion, according to a survey from Intuit QuickBooks…

Environment

With Montana lawmakers looking at a large budget surplus, a group of hunters, scientists and landowners is asking them to consider creating a trust …

Soil erosion by water occurs when bare-sloped soil surface is exposed to rainfall, and the rainfall intensity exceeds the rate of soil intake, or infiltration rate, leading to soil-surface runoff. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The Iowa Watershed Planning Advisory Council just released its annual report and said the Iowa Water Plan needs an update. The report showed climate …

Social Issues

By Phoebe Petrovic for Wisconsin Watch.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Wisconsin News Connection reporting for Wisconsin Watch-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Democrats have struggled to turn "red" rural areas "blue" across the country for years, but some left-leaning candidates won in 2022, raising the …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021