Let’s Talk About the Affordable Care Act

By Ed Townsend, Industry Research and Benchmarking Committee Chair

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare) is on the top-of-mind of many Americans. It promises to help millions of people who might not otherwise have had access to insurance. Independent consultants are, by and large, thrilled with it, as it gives them more and better-priced options for healthcare than they’ve previously had. Business owners, however, are nervous about the implications, with many feeling that they’re being expected to carry a heavier burden to fund the healthcare of others.

Now, I’m not writing this to start a political debate. My purpose here is to reach out to you, IAPD members from companies large and small, and find out what you think about the ACA. How do you think it will impact the health insurance offered at your company? To collect your responses, the Industry Research and Benchmarking Committee developed a quick one-question poll that you can see here. Simply click on that link, select the answer that is most appropriate for you now and click on the “Done” button. It’s that easy. After you’ve completed the poll, you’ll see the answers other IAPD members have provided.

Why are we asking you about the ACA?

You might be wondering why we’re asking. Well, the purpose of the Industry Research and Benchmarking Committee is to conduct research that will, hopefully, provide valuable data for the IAPD membership as a whole. But we need your guidance so we know where we can best target our resources. We launched the one-question polls last year to try to quickly get an insight into what IAPD members are thinking about a particular issue, or to gauge what’s important to your business. For example, the most recent one-question poll asked you which market (of the Top 24 Markets for plastics) you would like to see as the basis for an in-depth market study. We offered five options, which were the top five results from an earlier survey: Food and Beverage Processing, Manufacturing, Medical, Water/Wastewater and Aerospace. Of those who responded, Manufacturing was the most popular topic, so your Industry Research and Benchmarking Committee will be focusing on gathering data about Manufacturing for this first study. We hope you find it useful.

Why are we asking you anything, really?

It isn’t just out of curiosity. The committee is made up of dedicated volunteers who genuinely want to enhance the value of your IAPD membership with data that can help you run your business more successfully. You don’t have to worry about sharing proprietary information with fellow IAPD members, as the one-question polls are anonymous and any future research projects will be conducted with the help of an independent third-party company.

That’s nice, but what can you do for me right now?

If you want some immediate guidance on economic issues, I encourage you to check out the IAPD Advisor, an all-new publication from economist Alan Beaulieu. This quarterly members’ only publication examines current events, the “opportunity index” (an outlook on many economic factors, such as manufacturing, medical, wholesale trade, interest rates and more), “snap shot indicators” (several indicators, what direction they’re heading and what they mean for the U.S. economy), a long-term economic outlook, the answer to a reader’s question and observations about the Federal Reserve. The most recent issue was posted on the members’ only area of the IAPD website earlier in January and the previous issue is available, too, just in case you missed it.

Anything else?

We’re here to help you and we want to know what’s important to you. So, please don’t be a stranger. Share your insights via the one-question polls. And feel free to contact me or the IAPD staff liaison to the Industry Research and Benchmarking Committee, Kipp Simmons, if you are interested in getting more data on a particular topic. We want to hear from you.


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