Absolutely best thing for smallish business would be some kind of universal healthcare.
Agreed. Not to oversimplify a very interesting article, but I think lots of people get this. Socialized medicine is very good for all businesses, but especially small businesses. What is true of medicine is true of every other form of socialized service. It might behoove a small business to provide free daycare (and it might be more convenient) but if the government provides that, than suddenly it isn't a perk that only a big company can afford. Likewise with pensions. Social Security and the arrival of the Great American Middle Class happened at the same time, and I think that wasn't a coincidence.

From a political standpoint, I think if Democrats focused on small businesses, they could win a huge number of votes. Republicans talk a big game, but for the most part, deliver very little. If you talk to most small businesses, they rarely complain about "regulations" or federal taxes. They talk about the little nickle and dime crap that is the result of " the power of institutionalized giant firms". Take a small bar, for example. If they want to compete with the Buffalo Wild Wings of the world, they have to provide live television, which means paying a cable or satellite company a huge amount of money. If they want to take Visa they are forced to pay a very high fee. They don't have the bargaining power of a giant company, so they are pushed around by other giant companies. This is a huge issue that is simply ignored, and I'm sure plays out in just about every industry.
Socialism is a utopia that would never work in the United States. The United States is far too large to finance all of the this. We are already in a tremendous amount of debt. Where in the hell do you think we are going to get money for this?? $20T in debt....please let that sink in...TWENTY TRILLION IN DEBT! You can't keep printing money over and over again without expecting it to lose its value. Case in point is Venezuela. The Venezuelan crisis is a direct result of a socialist agenda.
Capitalism is a snake eating its own tail. Competition is great for the little guys, but terrible once you've established yourself. Big industries don't want competition, they want monopoly, and under laissez-faire capitalism, monopoly is the end point, one company rises to the top, stays at the top, and buys out everyone else... one ring to rule them all. Socialism frees people from the pressure to sell out to the one big company who owns all.

Venezuela was never socialist. There's never been a socialist nation ever on this planet.

Venezuela's problems are a result of crony corruption more than anything else. Greed and selfishness... The real oldest profession.
When I was a kid, Reagan and other conservative sorts would talk argue for free market solutions because rising tides lift all boats. Forty years on, things haven't worked out that way. And they don't make arguments like that any more. We get stuff like @3 "We've got better things to do with our valuable money than spend it on health care for old poor people!". Or you even see them standing up for the dignity of money itself, indignant at the proposition that the market be harnessed to any purpose other than the concentration of capital.

What a world.
And more on topic, @3, countries with more state intervention in health care generally get better health care outcomes for less money. If your priority is to save a few bucks, you should be rooting for single payer.
Socialism will never work because it goes against strong currents of human nature.
If people can draw from a common pool regardless of their contribution to the pool they will inevitably work less hard.
If people are rewarded for working harder/smarter with more stuff they will work harder/smarter.

Capitalism may not be perfect but it is better than any other system out there.

Socialism Never. Works.
In instances where it appears to have worked or be working it is is/was living off wealth created by another system.
We have a mixed economy, and have had one for a very long time. The more socialist we've been, the more successful the economy has been. As far as the debt is concerned, we are nowhere near levels where it is a concern, and the answer to is obvious -- raise taxes. The big reason we have a big debt is because Reagan (and then Bush) thought we could lower taxes and it would magically spur enough growth to pay for everything (including a major military buildup). It didn't work that way (obviously) in both cases. But again, we are nowhere near the level in which you need to worry about the deficit, the big problem is that we've spent it all on things that have done little to improve the quality of life here. Rather than a war against poverty, we've had a war against crime (the prison industrial complex) and several countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. ).
@1, agreed. Sole-proprietorship takes years to achieve profitability in most cases. Support is needed to generate a truly diverse and entrepreneurial economy.
Socialism is a scourge to humanity.
@8, You have no idea what you're even talking about. Drawing from a common pool regardless of contribution is literally what insurance is. The disagreement isn't over whether we should pool resources equitably and distribute them to the people who need it most, but whether the government or a for-profit industry should decide who gets care and what gets covered. When the payer profits, it is often to the detriment of patients and care providers, and you end up with an outrageously expensive and inefficient health care system where patients are still bankrupt by medical bills and hospitals struggle to stay afloat, despite the fact that we spend more per-capita on health care than most other countries.
Insurers charge the insured different rates depending on their risk level.
An 18 year old male with three accidents and 2 DWI convictions pays a higher rate for auto insurance than a grandmother who has never had an accident.

perhaps you are thinking of ObamaCare, which is not insurance.
@13: Yes, and all of those rates....go into the common pool. This is not debatable, it is just the way it works. The sky is blue, birds fly, and insurance premiums all go into one pool which is used to pay claims for everyone who contributes into the pool.
People contribute to the pool different amounts based on the likelihood they will collect from the pool.

A system where people's draw is not based on their contribution is socialism.
And inevitably over time people figure out that they can contribute less and still collect the same and they do less and the sum of an entire pool turning into slackers sinks the system.
For an example see any socialist experiment of the past hundred years...
@13, lol ok. Insurance is the socialization of risk. We pool our resources and re-distribute the costs in an egalitarian manner so people are not financially destroyed by catastrophe. Obamacare is a law that requires everyone to carry coverage and bars providers from turning anyone away. Rates that are set based on probabilities do not result in restricted coverage. An 18 year old male with three accidents and 2 DWI convictions may pay a higher rate for auto insurance than a grandmother who has never had an accident but grandma will still be covered in vast excess of what she's paid into the pool if she gets into a major car accident just as the 18 year old would because that is how insurance works. This is all fairly simple stuff and it is relevant to every living person. You should read up on it sometime.
@3: the US is TOO LARGE to finance universal coverage?

if you're worried about the debt, cut the military.
Guys, it's no use trying to present a cogent argument to TTB (or should I say, our old friend Commentor Comitatus?). He believes what he believes and his belief in his own beliefs is all he needs to validate his beliefs; facts are just pesky talking points that marginalize his beliefs, ergo he doesn't believe in them. Hell, he probably believes police, fire, and ambulance services, roads, utilities, and all the other socialized constructs we generally refer to as "civilization" are things he pays full-price for out-of-pocket.

And by requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions ObamaCare further departs from "insurance".
Sort of like being able to run down to State Farm and take out a policy on your house after it has burned to the ground.
@19, Every time you say something you demonstrate your ignorance. The pre-existing conditions clause does not somehow change the definition of insurance (/inˈSHo͝orəns/ noun: a practice or arrangement by which a company or government agency provides a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death in return for payment of a premium), it just a provision that, along with the individual mandate, makes health coverage an option for people who need it the most, and drives down the cost of health care substantially for everyone else in the process. Again, this basic and important stuff, you should consider learning something about it sometime.
True, it is very basic stuff.
Wiki has a nice article about how insurance works; you are confusing 'insurance' with social welfare. Getting coverage for something that has already happened is by definition not 'insurance'; you may chose to call it 'coverage' but it is not insurance.

Main article: Insurability
Risk which can be insured by private companies typically shares seven common characteristics:

1 Large number of similar exposure units: Since insurance operates through pooling resources, the majority of insurance policies are provided for individual members of large classes, allowing insurers to benefit from the law of large numbers in which predicted losses are similar to the actual losses. Exceptions include Lloyd's of London, which is famous for insuring the life or health of actors, sports figures, and other famous individuals. However, all exposures will have particular differences, which may lead to different premium rates.
2 Definite loss: The loss takes place at a known time, in a known place, and from a known cause. The classic example is death of an insured person on a life insurance policy. Fire, automobile accidents, and worker injuries may all easily meet this criterion. Other types of losses may only be definite in theory. Occupational disease, for instance, may involve prolonged exposure to injurious conditions where no specific time, place, or cause is identifiable. Ideally, the time, place, and cause of a loss should be clear enough that a reasonable person, with sufficient information, could objectively verify all three elements.
3 Accidental loss: The event that constitutes the trigger of a claim should be fortuitous, or at least outside the control of the beneficiary of the insurance. The loss should be pure, in the sense that it results from an event for which there is only the opportunity for cost. Events that contain speculative elements such as ordinary business risks or even purchasing a lottery ticket are generally not considered insurable.
4 Large loss: The size of the loss must be meaningful from the perspective of the insured. Insurance premiums need to cover both the expected cost of losses, plus the cost of issuing and administering the policy, adjusting losses, and supplying the capital needed to reasonably assure that the insurer will be able to pay claims. For small losses, these latter costs may be several times the size of the expected cost of losses. There is hardly any point in paying such costs unless the protection offered has real value to a buyer.
5 Affordable premium: If the likelihood of an insured event is so high, or the cost of the event so large, that the resulting premium is large relative to the amount of protection offered, then it is not likely that the insurance will be purchased, even if on offer. Furthermore, as the accounting profession formally recognizes in financial accounting standards, the premium cannot be so large that there is not a reasonable chance of a significant loss to the insurer. If there is no such chance of loss, then the transaction may have the form of insurance, but not the substance (see the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board pronouncement number 113: "Accounting and Reporting for Reinsurance of Short-Duration and Long-Duration Contracts").
6 Calculable loss: There are two elements that must be at least estimable, if not formally calculable: the probability of loss, and the attendant cost. Probability of loss is generally an empirical exercise, while cost has more to do with the ability of a reasonable person in possession of a copy of the insurance policy and a proof of loss associated with a claim presented under that policy to make a reasonably definite and objective evaluation of the amount of the loss recoverable as a result of the claim.
7 Limited risk of catastrophically large losses: Insurable losses are ideally independent and non-catastrophic, meaning that the losses do not happen all at once and individual losses are not severe enough to bankrupt the insurer; insurers may prefer to limit their exposure to a loss from a single event to some small portion of their capital base. Capital constrains insurers' ability to sell earthquake insurance as well as wind insurance in hurricane zones. In the United States, flood risk is insured by the federal government. In commercial fire insurance, it is possible to find single properties whose total exposed value is well in excess of any individual insurer's capital constraint. Such properties are generally shared among several insurers, or are insured by a single insurer who syndicates the risk into the reinsurance market."

See #5; the likelihood of a pre-existing condition occurring is, well- let's see- OMG 100%!

And to assert "it just a provision that ... makes health coverage an option for people who need it the most, and drives down the cost of health care substantially for everyone else in the process" is silly.
The only way to pay for a preexisting condition is to tack the cost onto everyone else in the pool.
Which ObamaCare did, doubling the premiums the first year then adding the same amount again the next year.
It may be kind to agree to pay for preexisting conditions but it is not insurance and it is ruinously expensive to the other pool members.
It's cheaper to give people the care they need early on rather than waiting until it's a crisis and going to the ER, or worse, sending people without health insurance to the ER for primary care as we have done in the past (and I assume we will continue to do as long as EMTALA is in place). ER care is very expensive, preventative care less so. Those costs all get passed on to everyone regardless of where the care is delivered, either through higher premiums or taxpayer-funded reimbursements to hospitals. Everyone chipping in to a pool makes health care more effective, both in terms of cost and outcome.

If you take issue with the pre-existing conditions clause I encourage you to watch what happens to it with Obamacare’s 'repeal' or 'replace' or 'repair' or whatever republicans are calling their non-existing plan to today (hint: nothing. Nothing will happen to it because it is essential for our health care system to properly function). The fact that they've spent 8 years talking about repeal being their top priority, and then immediately kicked the can down the road 2 years should be your first clue, were you capable of getting one.

Anyway this is all way over your head but that's your problem not mine. Carry on.
Interesting philosophies, but there are way too many assumptions here that cause the premise to collapse. I would have recommended going to interview a Harboview ER doc to get some stats of those daily visits that were necessary and required emergency care vs. people just using the system because they wanted attention, or were mentally ill and had no place else to go - just to get a baseline. If one in five payers into the system are small business owners that still leaves 4 of 5 average taxpayers on the hook for everyone else, and lets face it, the way small businesses open and close in this town (especially eateries), its hard to tell the square dancers from the dance anymore. Obamacare needs revamping and the ones gripping the most are the one who are quite happy leading their current lifestyles knowing that subsidized heathcare is in their future - while the really infirm and especially the aged get barely anything in the way of quality healthcare. Its a crying shame in this country where an obese 40 year old man or woman can eat pizza and drink beer and bourbon like a college freshman watching the StupidBowl can get quality taxpayer subsidized heathcare, but an 70, 80 or 90 year old, alone in a rest home gets a non-english speaking, 20-something aide more interested in her selfies and Facebook than notice the bed sores and infections on their bodies. Just remember that one day this will be you and you can look back fondly on is article and promote the current state of wonderful socialized healthcare.

Except of course, ACA ISN'T "socialized" healthcare, it's simply a flawed system that's created a larger pool of customers for market-based mandated self (or employer or both) paid coverage through the for-profit insurance industry, which is a far cry from a truly socialized system like you'll find in pretty much every other First World Country.

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