The Dish Model, Ctd

Feb 11 2013 @ 6:04pm

Readers follow up on our health insurance post:

My son had what I think is a great idea for companies/merchants: they should have a sticker or something that identifies that they provide health insurance for their employees.  I did some investigating when my dry cleaning went up and found a cheaper service but they didn’t provide health insurance for their workers, so instead of switching solely on price, I stayed with the old service and paid the extra 34c per shirt.  I’m sure others would like to know who provides and who doesn’t.  It would impact our patronage.

Another:

I am curious as to whether you provide health insurance for your employees’ families as well.  I run a similarly sized business as yours and currently do not, but I am reconsidering.

Dish Publishing LLC provides healthcare for our staffers’ spouses. We would also cover employees’ children but no one on staff has kids. Another quotes me:

One thing I’ve learned from a foray into business is that you really do have to make some moral calls. I realize that I’m not such a capitalist, after all, since my goal, I realized, was not really to be rich (I’m doing fine) but to do what I love in as efficient and as fair a way as possible – and to work with people I respect and love.

I’m quite certain you are full of shit with this sentence. Why slur the “capitalists”?

Take your blinders off and rid your thinking of these strawman stereotypes. The vast vast majority of “capitalists” don’t really set off with the goal of “being rich” but in reality are just like you. “Capitalists” want to do what they love, work with people they like, and make a meaningful contribution to society. Capitalists are people like Ray Kroc, Steve Jobs, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Henry Ford. Capitalists are simply people who have a passion for serving others and meeting people’s unmet needs and wants. If they do it well and enough other people appreciate what they do, the end result may just be that they become Rich. But it’s almost never the goal at the outset!

Another agrees:

You don’t have to be greedy, amoral, or Milton Friedman to be a capitalist! You are an entrepreneur innovating a new business model to support a unique product. Society values that product enough to pay for it, and you (and your staff and interns) prosper. Moreover, you are making choices along the way designed to make this model sustainable over the long term, which turns out to be in the best interest of all stakeholders (because your incentives are aligned with theirs).

In other words, you are the BEST kind of capitalist. Please don’t shrug off the label or else we’ll lose it forever to the Ayn Rand crowd!

Another circles back to healthcare:

Regarding the following quote from a reader: “Should I ever leave this position, I could possibly be forced into the open market where, as an otherwise healthy 43-year-old man, a minor heart attack three years ago would likely prevent me from EVER being covered outside a group policy offered by an employer.” Could you please tell your reader that, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, “EVER” means “for the next 11 months”? As of 1/1/2014, your reader (assuming that he is not an illegal immigrant) will be able to get non-group coverage through the exchanges, without his premiums being impacted by his prior heart condition. As someone who works in health insurance, I recognize I’m way too close to this subject to understand the average man-on-the-street’s perception of the ACA, but I’m flabbergasted that your reader was unaware of this.

Another reader on the subject:

I’m an avid Dishhead for a few years now and happy to be a new subscriber. Your reader inquired about your relationship to the Affordable Care Act in regards to paying your employees’ health care. I wanted to note that there is a current option for small business owners to apply for a tax credit of up to 35%, raising to 50% in 2014. An eligible small business in this case is under 25 employees with an average salary of $50K or less that provides at least half of the employees with health care. Perhaps that doesn’t apply to The Dish but it sounds like some readers (specifically one you featured who described their business of 9 employees) might benefit from looking into it. Here’s the IRS application page with more info.

Good luck on your new adventure. I’m eager to see where it leads.