Defeat of Graham-Cassidy ACA Repeal Measure is a big Victory for Small Businesses
Statement by Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer on why Senate Republicans’ decision not to vote on an Affordable Care Act replacement plan offered by U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham is great news for small businesses
We are relieved that U.S. Senate Republican leadership decided not to vote this week on the Graham-Cassidy replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ending the bill’s chances of becoming law. Throughout Senate Republicans’ attempt to repeal and replace the ACA, it was intensely frustrating that so many lawmakers refused to accept that the ACA has been tremendously beneficial to small businesses.
Had it passed, Graham-Cassidy would have left millions of entrepreneurs and small business employees uninsured. People would likely have lost their healthcare coverage thanks to the measure’s gutting of Medicaid and the subsidies that were the primary driver of coverage expansion under the ACA. It was also estimated to cost our economy 580,000 jobs.
Additionally, the bill would have been particularly harmful to the self-employed because it would have stripped protections in the ACA that prohibit insurers from charging sick people more for their health coverage. Under the ACA, 1.1 million self-employed entrepreneurs have gained health coverage. If the Graham-Cassidy proposal had become law, however, many of these entrepreneurs would have likely closed up shop because they could no longer afford to buy their own healthcare. What’s more, it would have destabilized the individual marketplaces and made it harder for entrepreneurs and small business employees to purchase coverage.
One of the takeaways of the U.S. Senate’s seemingly endless attempts to repeal the ACA is that lawmakers who were prepared to end the healthcare law by any means necessary have lost the right to plausibly say they care about small businesses or have their best interests in mind. If our elected officials want to prove they do care about helping small firms going forward, however, lawmakers must do all they can to ensure our nation’s job creators have the tools they need to succeed, and that includes bipartisan improvements to health insurance laws that stabilize the markets and keep quality care affordable.
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of a thriving and inclusive economy. We actively engage our network of more than 55,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. 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. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.