Vice President Mike Pence met with small business owners in Ohio last week to listen to their experiences with the Affordable Care Act. The goal: to better inform how Congress plans to repeal and replace it in a way that protects small businesses and their employees. Owners, including several NFIB members, voiced their grievances about the Affordable Care Act’s burdensome administrative requirements and surging premiums, as well as the insecurity their employees feel about the future of their healthcare plans.
“That is the unbroken record of Obamacare—premiums going up, benefits going down, which is the exact opposite of what we were promised,” said Pence.
NFIB member Claudia Kovach, who runs family-owned City Machine Technologies in Youngstown, told Pence about her business and her employees’ shared struggle to meet rising healthcare costs. “Healthcare is our biggest single expense,” Kovach said. “For the last eight years, we’re not getting any more for our money, prices are increasing, and the healthcare benefits are decreasing. I have deductibles, higher premiums for our employees, and our employees are struggling to pay those.”
Michael Canty, NFIB member and CEO of a manufacturing company in Cleveland, discussed outsourcing expenses that handicap his business. “The key to that along with some of the other costs we spend is that it takes capacity away from the manufacturer, away from the company. That’s money they don’t spend hiring people, buying equipment, building value that benefits everyone,” Canty explained.
Canty also mentioned his young employees are increasingly refusing insurance. They don’t want to pay the high costs or they don’t believe they need some of the benefits.
Pence assured the small business owners in attendance that reform is on the way. “President Trump is committed to shifting the debate back to lowering the cost of health insurance, giving states greater freedom and flexibility to reform Medicaid to meet the needs of the most vulnerable,” Pence said.