Affordable Care Act Repeal Will Cripple Small Businesses
Statement by John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, on why today’s vote by the U.S. Senate to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through budget reconciliation will harm small businesses
The U.S. Senate’s vote today to begin the process to repeal the ACA without any sort of replacement plan is an irresponsible action that will cripple our nation’s small business owners, their employees and self-employed entrepreneurs who have gained access to coverage under the healthcare law. Repealing the healthcare law will only lead to job losses and skyrocketing premiums and cause deficits to soar, hurting small businesses and the economy overall.
The ACA has provided coverage to countless entrepreneurs and small business workers who once struggled to access health insurance. Prior to the enactment of the healthcare law, small businesses and their employees represented a disproportionate share of uninsured workers, and small business owners paid, on average, 18 percent more than their big business counterparts. Since 2010, however, the increase in small business healthcare costs has been at the lowest level in years, following regular double-digit increases prior to the law’s enactment. And because the law makes it far easier for the self-employed to obtain coverage, many more entrepreneurs have been willing to go out on their own and start new ventures.
What’s more, the law has enabled most states to expand their Medicaid programs, allowing the lowest-income small business employees to obtain health coverage.
ACA repeal will eradicate hard-won benefits for America’s entrepreneurs, cause a rapid rise in healthcare costs and create tremendous economic instability. What we need is a bipartisan effort to improve the law, not reckless political game playing, particularly in light of the fact that a replacement option is nowhere in sight.
Today’s vote is an example of partisan politics at its worst. Anyone who would deny the positive impacts of the law on small businesses either hasn’t been paying attention or cares more about scoring political points than about helping small businesses or facilitating job growth in America. Our nation’s entrepreneurs and hard-working employees deserve better.
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing small businesses today. Since 2005, we have actively engaged small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions, and have delivered information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth and drive a strong economy. We regularly engage our network of 55,000 small business owners along with a formal strategic partnership program of more than 150 business organizations, enabling us to reach more than 500,000 entrepreneurs. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers, including access to capital, taxes, healthcare, retirement, entrepreneurship and workforce development. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.