Federal Court Decision Striking Down the Affordable Care Act is Devastating News for Small Businesses
Statement by John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, on what the end of the Affordable Care Act would mean for small firms
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas made a grave error in the case of Texas v. United States when it recklessly decided the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. Although the ACA’s individual mandate penalty was previously repealed, the healthcare law’s remaining components must be upheld in full because the law is absolutely critical to the success of small businesses, their employees and solo entrepreneurs.
As we noted previously in an amicus brief filed in this case, the ACA has provided quality, affordable health coverage to numerous small firms and entrepreneurs that 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 18 percent more on average for coverage than their big business counterparts.
Since 2010, however, the growth in small business healthcare costs slowed dramatically, following regular double-digit increases prior to the law’s enactment. And because the law makes it much easier for the self-employed to obtain their own coverage, many more aspiring entrepreneurs have escaped “job lock” and been willing to go out on their own to start new ventures. In fact, more than 5.7 million small business employees or self-employed workers are enrolled in the ACA marketplaces, and more than half of all ACA marketplace enrollees nationwide are small business owners, self-employed individuals or small business employees.
What’s more, the law has enabled most states to expand their Medicaid programs, allowing low-income small business employees and entrepreneurs to obtain health coverage.
Ending the ACA would be an unmitigated disaster for America’s entrepreneurs: It would cause a rapid rise in healthcare costs and create substantial economic instability. For the good of America’s job creators, the constitutionality of the ACA must be upheld, and we hope this decision is immediately appealed.
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 58,000 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.