Just to introduce some additional facts.
The rules to penalize for not providing health care don't kick in until 50 employees as you noted. However, the penalty is only for every employee over 50. So if you have 52 employees, you can opt out and only pay the penalty for two employees. Most small business owners are going to be largely unaffected. Of course this will largely depend on how they define employee. Businesses with many part time employees may suffer if an employee is defined based on part/full time status but merely the fact that they worked for the employer.