OTR Interviews

How to 'outsmart' ObamaCare

Small business owner believes he has figured out a way to avoid layoffs because of the Affordable Care Act


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 31, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: And now to ObamaCare. Small businesses are bracing for it. Many business owners across the nation fearing ObamaCare will give them no choice but to lay off workers. One business owner says he has figured out a way to outsmart ObamaCare. Paul Christiansen joins us. Nice to see you, Paul.

PAUL CHRISTIANSEN, ENTREPRENEUR: Hi, Greta, good to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: One of the thresholds that the business people are facing if you have 50 employees or more, you are going to have to provide health insurance. So some business owners are trying to get below the 50 which means layoffs. Tell me, what is your idea or thought to bypass to layoff to get underneath that 50 number?

CHRISTIANSEN: My solution is one that was formulated a few years ago by Silicon Valley thinker called Michael Malone in a real seminal book "The Future Arrived Yesterday." His notion was one of something called the protean corporation which is designed primarily to provide fast response to changes in the economy or markets or other conditions so that their business can be as nimble and as efficient as possible.

And as I was thinking about the problems that businesses are having with ObamaCare and this magic 50 number, instead of laying off employees or moving into part time or some extreme cases shutting down the business, I thought that the protean concept of basically moving all but a core group of people that are responsible for the essence of the corporation, what its products are, how it messages, those kinds of things, was a real solution. And so I basically postulated how businesses can convert employees to their own corporations as a way of getting out from under this ObamaCare.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have 75 employees and you are worried you want to get under the 50. All 75 in theory could go out and pay $30 and become incorporated and then you don't have 75 employees but you have contracts with individual corporations. So you have 75 different corporations and then you would get out from underneath that. Is that the thinking?

CHRISTIANSEN: That is essentially thinking, although what would probably happen is some of those people would get together and form a little bit larger corporations to kind of share overhead costs.

But the important thing is, we got into this mess back in World War II when companies were trying to pay their people more but couldn't because of wage and price controls. And so the work around that was to provide health insurance as a way to artificially raise the overall compensation. And that has continued and continued. Now we have ObamaCare as yet more government kind of meddling in the economy, and businesses are going to need to be creative and innovative in devising strategies for dealing with that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Or lay off or pay the health insurance and reduce the profit. Anyway, Paul, we're going to see a lot of workarounds. I think a lot of people are going to try to figure out a way around this. Thank you, sir.

CHRISTIANSEN: Absolutely, thank you.