Nominations Open for School-Business Partnership Award

The Indiana Chamber Foundation is accepting nominations for its second annual School Counseling-Business Partnership of the Year award, highlighting the collaborative efforts between employers and educators to better prepare students for college and careers.

The award, presented in partnership with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, is open to all Indiana high schools and employers (must be located in Indiana). Nomination letters must include the name of the high school and employer and describe how the partnership has led to better preparation of students for college and career success.

In addition, a $1,000 scholarship will be given to a high school senior who has shown exceptional progress in college and career readiness because of the school counseling-business partnership.

The 2017 inaugural award was presented to Hobart High School and St. Mary’s Medical Center. Read more about that partnership here. The winning partnership will be announced at the 12th annual Indiana INTERNnet IMPACT Awards luncheon on February 7.

Nominations should be submitted to Shelley Huffman at [email protected] by Friday, January 12.


CBO Estimate of Those Who Will Lose Employer-Provided Health Insurance Under ACA Doubles

The Washington Times reports that many more Americans than previously thought will lose employer-provided health insurance due to the newly enacted health care law, supported by President Obama. This unfortunately contradicts his campaign rhetoric during the 2012 debates and speeches on the matter.

President Obama's health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.

CBO said that this year's tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they'll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.

But the non-partisan agency also expects fewer people to have to pay individual penalties to the IRS than it earlier projects, because of a better method for calculating incomes that found more people will be exempt.

Overall, the new health provisions are expected to cost the government $1.165 trillion over the next decade — the same as last year's projection.

With other spending cuts and tax increases called for in the health law, though, CBO still says Mr. Obama's signature achievement will reduce budget deficits in the short term.

During the health care debate Mr. Obama had said individuals would be able to keep their plans.

What Not to Tweet

Social media has afforded us a great many benefits in the world of communications. Now you know news the second it hits. You can see what’s on the minds of celebrities and experts you’ve long admired, and even communicate with them. And you can take part in making viral a video of a man knocking himself unconscious with a pool cue. God bless these United States.

But there is a downside, and that’s the chronic, sometimes alcohol-induced problem of oversharing. If you’re on Twitter, here are some Twitter lessons from that may help keep you from getting fired — and keep your business’ name out of the muck:

1. Tweet confidential. Don’t tweet confidential information about your company, co-workers or clients. Leaking confidential information could lead to more than job loss, it could lead to law suits and SEC violations, depending upon the severity of the leak.

2. Twitter bashing. Whether you choose to sound off about a brand or a person, defamation suits are still applicable. If you think you’ll get free products or concessions from a company that’s wronged you, you might just get slapped with a hefty fine and damages.

3. Over-sharing. Don’t forget that tweets are public domain. Many employers can, and will, take action if you do something on your free time that could potentially damage their image or compromise their reputation. Even though it may be your own personal opinion or action, if you tweet about it, it’s hard for an organization to ignore.

4. Jumping the gun. Is your PR firm pitching a new client? Is your company working on a new product? Are you planning to leave your job? If you leak information too soon, there may be repercussions. Sometimes in our exuberance, we blurt out the good news to a confidant in passing—but doing so on Twitter could let the news travel at digital speeds to your competitors or your company.

5. Whining about work. Although there may not be a law restricting you from complaining about your 9–5, if you don’t want your employers to know what you are saying about them, think before you tweet. There are plenty of sites that allow you to vent anonymously, and of course, you can always call a trusted friend or your mom. But if you choose to document your frustration digitally, remember that Google never forgets, and neither does your boss.

The High Costs of (this kind of) Health Care Reform

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council recently pitted rhetoric against facts when it comes to big government health care reform. Sadly, it seems it’s the taxpayers and businesses who are losing in that fight. Read on:

Let’s consider the cost issue. Government programs like Medicaid and Medicare, for example, have run far ahead of what the original cost projections were. That’s not surprising. When the taxpayer is the funder, no one involved in the actual transaction – consumer, provider, politician, and bureaucrat – has any reason to care about prices or utilization. If cost concerns do come up – when politicians initially set up the program, or down the road when facing huge shortfalls and/or an inevitable taxpayer backlash – the usual action is a combination of price controls and rationing of care.

So, the results of more government in health care are both increased costs and diminished quality of care.

That’s all in the mix in the current debate over health care reform. But let’s just take a look at what politicians are talking about initially to fund more government care.

President Obama floats the figure of $630 billion over 10 years. But the Obama budget makes clear that the "$630 billion is not sufficient to fully fund comprehensive reform." In fact, estimates for the coming decade for the President’s plan range up to more than three times higher.

What possible tax increases are in the mix?

First, the President plans on limiting tax deductions for higher income earners, many who happen to be investors and entrepreneurs. President Obama also proposes a variety of other costs largely focused on business, including jacked up tax enforcement, repealing the LIFO accounting method, and higher death taxes.

On May 20, the Senate Finance Committee came up with a long list of possible tax hikes to pay for health care "reform." One would limit the tax deduction for employer-provided health care plans. That, of course, would increase costs for employers and/or workers.