From the Editor by David Staats: Obamacare and your business

dstaats@idahostatesman.comJune 11, 2013 

Staats, David

David Staats

SHAWN RAECKE — Shawn Raecke/ Idaho Statesman Buy Photo

This week's cover story is unusual: It's more a graphic than a story.

As Idaho businesses face up to changes under the Affordable Care Act, they confront a daunting array of decisions and potential penalties. I gave business reporter Audrey Dutton, who covers the business of health care, a vague assignment to write about the law and Idaho business. She decided the most useful thing she could offer would be a step-by-step guide to complying with the law. The law is so complex that Dutton felt traditional expository text would be hard to follow. Better, she said, to present the law's choices in flowchart form, with an interactive version for our website.

She and news designer Lindsie Bergevin teamed up to make it work. Dutton consulted local health insurers and federal websites. She turned to Boise lawyer Katherine Georger to help us make sure we got everything right. While there are growing numbers of guides and online tools about the act, this chart is unlike anything we have seen elsewhere. I hope you find it helpful.

This edition features a wealth of other business-of-health storytelling and commentary. Dutton also wrote the feature on page 9 about Treasure Valley Hospital. William L. Spence explores the affordability of Obamacare for poor Idahoans. And St. Luke's Dr. David Pate offers three tips to businesses about the law from his perspective as CEO of a hospital system that is also Idaho's biggest private employer.

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