WILLIAMSPORT — The Supreme Court Justices voted five to four that Congress and the White House did not overstep their bounds by requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance.
The health care act was the most ambitious and controversial undertaking of President Obama’s first term, attempting to guarantee that some 45 million Americans without insurance will get better access to medical care.
The high court’s ruling means the health care law stands and should end up affecting businesses and their employees soon.
The law is intended to bring down health care costs but at least one small business owner in Williamsport has a wait-and-see attitude.
Throughout four generations and more than a century in business, Phillips Supply House has tried to treat its employees like family, according to Trey Phillips, president of the Williamsport-based dealer of photocopiers.
At a time when many other companies make employees pay a portion of their health care, Phillips pays in-full for his 15 employees.
“We’re one of the few businesses in the United States, at least Pennsylvania that provide 100% family health care for all of our employees,” said Phillips.
For now, Phillips plans to keep paying for his employees’ health care.
“It’s more cost-effective to keep doing it, but the cost has been going up and up and up and has been,” said Phillips.
Some business owners said they do not like it when the government gets involved in their affairs, including healthcare. With most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act going into effect in 2014, some owners are in the dark as to what that means for their employees and their health care.
“Not knowing what the impact of this law or the Supreme Court decision will be on us specifically, we’re kind of in a holding pattern,” added Phillips.
In the short-term, that means no new hires or expanding at Phillips Supply House.
“We don’t know what we’ll be able to do or not do with them or for them, and I think we’ll be stuck for a while until it fleshes out,” said Phillips.
Trey Phillips plans to keep shopping around for the best deal when its time to renew company health insurance.
Whether he will be able to keep providing free health care to his employees, that remains to be seen.