In my opinion, this whole system is designed to slowly over time force a single payor system. First, the medicaid limit will be raised to 133% of the government's stated poverty level. That means anyone making less than roughly $30k is eligible for medicaid.
Second you have this "penalty" to employers of over 49 employees. If you read the fine print, the $2k penalty doesn't apply to all of your employees. If I recall correctly, you are only penalized on the number of employees above the threshold. Therefore, if you have 80 employees, you can choose to pay a 2k penalty on 80 - 49= 31 employees for a total of $62k, or you can pay the employer portion of a plan which on the low end is going to be $225/month and can be as much as $1200/month. $225/month x 80 employees x 12 months =$216,000
That's a no brainer as a businessman. The other options are to break thier companies into different entities with under 49 employees, or cut hours to satisfy part-time status. Any of these tactics will kick most people into the "exchange" which I believe will eventually become a federal program once the majority of people are on it.
This post was edited on 11/22 at 9:46 pm