Sense of Community

RANDY: In its current form the Affordable Care Act draws a line between businesses with less than 50, and more than 50, full-time employees.  Those with fewer than 50 fulltime workers are not obligated to offer healthcare packages, while those with more than 50 must, under the law, provide affordable health coverage.  To hear how one very large local employer has been dealing with the ACA, I talked to Andy Hedgepath, Benefits Manager for Cox Health Systems.

ANDY HEDGEPATH: Cox Health  has increased the size of our workforce to over 10,000 employees now.

(Montage of voices)

“The news is scary....”

“We’ve really largely weathered the storm to this point, and I think it will get better....”

“It’s really giving small businesses that extra boost and clout to help them....”

“This is the biggest fiasco....”

“What we will tend to find on the other side is, we’re going to be better off in the long run.”

“This is a complete disaster!  I’m sorry to be so emotional about it, but now everybody’s in limbo....”

Good afternoon, and welcome back to our Sense of Community Series on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and how it’s impacting people here in the Ozarks.  This afternoon, we’re looking at how the new law uniquely affects people in rural or remote areas.

24-year-old Maggie Petersen is a busy young woman. She’s a graduate assistant in the political science department at Missouri State University in Springfield.

“I work for two different professors. I do research, grading…and a lot of what I’ve been doing this semester has actually been focusing on the Congo and looking at election results from their last two elections, and minority education within the country,” Petersen said.

I'm Mike Smith, and our Sense of Community subject today is area homeowner debt.