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For Immediate Release
Jack Mozloom, 202-406-4450 or
609-462-5610
Follow NFIB on Twitter @NFIB
Follow Jack on Twitter
@JackMozNFIB
 

NFIB Updates Senate on Obamacare: Data
Validates the Doubters
NFIB research shows that small business owners are
confused, disappointed by health care law and that its benefits haven’t
materialized
 

Washington, DC (March 19, 2015) —  Five years
of data on how small business owners are dealing with the Affordable Care Act
show that large majorities are disappointed and that its predicted benefits for
local employers were far off the mark.  

“The problems that many
predicted have arrived but most of the promises for small business owners
remain unfulfilled,” said NFIB Research
Director Holly Wade
, who testified this morning before the Senate Finance
Committee at a hearing to assess the real effects of the health care law.

Wade pointed out that the law
is just as restrictive and confusing as its detractors predicted. Ten percent of small business owners had
their personal insurance plans cancelled last year, for example, something the President and others promised
wouldn’t happen when they were pushing the law through Congress. Twelve percent of owners renewed their old
plans early in order to avoid higher premiums and narrower choices, two results
that were also not part of the deal.

Most disappointing, according
to Wade, is that a large majority of small business owners report higher
premiums
despite the fact that the law was billed as a way for them to reduce their
expenses.

“We found that 62 percent of
small business owners are paying higher premiums while only eight percent say
their costs have dropped,” she said. “A
big part of the President’s sales pitch for the law was that it would help
small businesses save money on their health insurance.  Five years later, a substantial majority of
small business owners are reporting the opposite result.”

What about the SHOP Exchange
and small business tax credits that were supposed to soften the impact of the
taxes and mandates and make things generally easier for local employers to
purchase insurance?

“It’s been difficult for us
to find very many small business owners who have purchased insurance through
the SHOP Exchange,” said Wade. “Almost
no one is using the system and that’s evident from the administration’s own
enrollment numbers.”

The tax credits, she said,
which were supposed to create an incentive for small employers to cover their
workers, also have been ineffective.

“Qualifying for the credits
is cumbersome and complicated,” she said.
“The tax credit is temporary but the mandate is forever, so the
financial advantage is very small over the long run.  It’s certainly not enough to offset the
higher costs and the administrative headaches that the law imposes on small
business owners.”

President Obama and
supporters of law point out that millions of Americans who didn’t have
insurance are now receiving subsidies to buy coverage. That, they say, shows that the ACA is a
success.

“But that’s not the way the
President and Congress defined success when they were debating the law,” said
Wade. “The ACA was sold to the country
as a way to reduce the cost of insurance for everyone and as a way to make the
system work better for everyone. And
they put a heavy emphasis on the advantages for American small businesses.

“Based on the data and our
experience with the law, most of that seems to have been greatly overstated,”
she continued.   

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Most disappointing is that a large majority of small business owners report higher
premiums despite the fact that the law was billed as a way for them to reduce their
expenses.
—NFIB’s Holly Wade

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