Will New Health Care Law Really Help Small Businesses?

Small businesses can also see some upside in the next four years. Barring insurance companies from rejecting people based on preexisting conditions opens up a bigger pool of employees for small businesses, and the insurance exchange that will be offered by 2014 puts small firms on equal footing with their larger counterparts.

Yet small businesses are nervous at best about the long-term impact of the health care law.

"We do have this nagging thing about how it will be paid for," Marks said. "When things seem to be too good to be true, they often are too good to be true."

How the sweeping overhaul will be paid for is one of the chief concerns about small business owners, Marks said. Additionally, small business owners may get tax breaks and save on health costs for their companies, but if they have to end up paying more taxes in their individual filings, then ultimately they won't benefit at all.

Under the health care law, individuals who make $200,000 and couples who make in the upwards of $250,000 will see their income taxes go up.

"We're saving it on the business but now we're getting taxed more on our income," Marks said. It's just "being taken out of somewhere else."

It's a sentiment that's being echoed by small business owners across the country.

The health care overhaul law "certainly addresses a lot of access side of the equation but it doesn't address costs," Brogan said.

Health Care Law to Fully Take Effect by 2014

The White House is hoping to sort out the message for small businesses by holding workshops, e-mailing tax professionals, mailing postcards with details, and adding new sections to the White House and the IRS web sites.

Obama today chided Republicans who criticized the bill. Some of them have threatened to have it repealed, and the president dared them to try.

"It's paid for. And it saves on our deficits," he said, "And now that it's passed they're already promising they're gonna repeal it."

"My attitude is, go for it. You try to repeal it," Mr. Obama challenged, "Because I don't believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the drivers seat."

For their part, small business owners say they are happy with the concessions the government is offering them, but that only time will tell if the health care overhaul is truly beneficial.

"The sentiment is uncertainty," Marks said. "No one seems to know what the effect of this is going to be and what it's going to cost in the end. Most business owners I know are scratching their heads at that. It's freaking some of us out."

A majority of firms in the United States have between one and four employees, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and about a quarter of Americans work for companies that have 19 employees or less. That number is expected to grow when the economy improves.

Small businesses will be see more changes in the next four years as parts of the health care law take effect.

By 2014, a health insurance exchange will be in place that will allow small businesses with 100 employees or less to shop for coverage. Businesses will be required to provide health insurance to their employees if they have more than 50 workers. Insurance companies won't be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and insurance plans with high premiums will face a new excise tax.

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