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Health News Florida
Healthy State tells the stories you need to know to stay well, with a special focus on Florida.We'll bring you the latest fitness trends, new research on preventing and treating disease, and information about how health policy impacts your pocketbook.We report on health using all the tools at our disposal -- video, audio, photos and text -- to bring these stories to life.Healthy State is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at wusfnews.org.

Two Business Owners Have Opposite Views On Affordable Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act isn't just creating divides down political lines.

Citizens, health care providers, and business owners are falling on both sides of the issue-for all sorts of reasons. 

Recently WUSF spoke to two small business owners who have different views on how the federal health care law will affect them.

Alan Saylor is the owner of Saylor's Suncoast Water in Pinellas Park. He's a member of the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business association that lobbied against the Affordable Care Act. 

He only has four employees- three of which he insures. 

Since he has less than 50 employees, he won't be required to provide health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Even still, he thinks the law will be devastating for small businesses.

"Now some of the people I've talked to, some of the larger employers, they're looking at what the penalty is going to cost versus what the insurance is going to cost," Saylor said.

"I've had several people tell me that it looks like it's going to cost less to pay the penalty than quit messing with the insurance," he said.

Saylor says finding good health insurance at a reasonable cost has always been a problem.

"I think we are still going to have the issue with state mandated coverage. Right now on my health insurance I've got maternity coverage," he said.

"None of my three employees are going to have any more children. I'm still paying for cleft palate coverage that I don't need."

Dr. Mona Mangat has a private practice in allergy and immunology.

She also belongs to Doctors For America, a group that lobbied in favor of the Affordable Care Act.

"As a small business owner, the health of my employees is so critical to the success of my business, and I have a vested interest in them having access to good health."

Mangat says in her experience, the patients she sees who do not have health insurance, can't afford it.

"That's where the law really helps people," she said. "People in my experience want to be healthy, they don't want to be a freeloader. They don't want to be a burden.

"They don't want someone else paying for their care. If you don't purchase that health insurance and you don't enter that market, then eventually you become a burden on the rest of us because someone pays for that care," she said.

But Saylor sees the law as infringing on his personal rights.

"They're taking away my freedom when they're saying you have to get this, you have to get that! And if you don't get this, we're going to tax you or fine you.

"Where is our country going when we're doing this to all our employers?”

For more of this health care conversation, check out this week's Florida Matters at http://www.wusf.usf.edu/news/program/florida_matters