For Immediate Release: 6.14.2012
Majority of Small Business Owners in Louisiana Support Key Provisions in Healthcare Reform Law
June 14, 2012 – The majority of small business owners in Louisiana support a host of key provisions in the healthcare reform law and would consider using a state insurance exchange to provide their employees with coverage, according to opinion polling released today by Small Business Majority.
Provisions such as prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage because of preexisting conditions (74 percent), requiring insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on healthcare claims and quality improvement efforts (69 percent) and preventing insurance companies to charging women more than men (68 percent) or basing rates on health status (66 percent) have strong support from small businesses. Additionally, a 58 percent majority said they would offer or consider offering their employees insurance through a state health insurance exchange—online marketplaces being set up under the Affordable Care Act, where small businesses can pool their buying power when purchasing coverage.
“Small business owners in Louisiana strongly support key provisions in the healthcare reform law,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “They see this law as helping everyone have coverage and making it easier to purchase health insurance. We hope Supreme Court justices understand how important this law is to small businesses who need relief from high healthcare costs.”
The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision any day in the case against the healthcare reform law, filed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and state attorneys general. Contrary to popular belief, there is no clear consensus among Louisiana small business owners that they want the law struck down. Forty-four percent of small businesses in the state believe it should be kept as is or with only minor changes, while another 44 percent believe it should be overturned. However, when they learn about the law, support grows to 47 percent and opposition drops to 40 percent. The poll sample was majority Republican: 61 percent identified as Republican and 24 percent identified as Democrat (11 percent said independent).
“It’s imperative the healthcare law remain intact,” said Jill Kuhn, co-owner of Bienvenue Bed and Breakfast in St. Martinville, La. “The high cost of health insurance is the downfall of many new businesses, and the law is especially important to anyone with a pre-existing condition, such as myself. There are so many parts of this law that will benefit small business owners and all Americans—we must keep it on the books.”
Other key findings from the poll:
- 77 percent support eliminating the use of annual dollar limits on insurance benefits so patients don’t end up losing benefits when they get really sick
- 52 percent of small businesses who support upholding the law believe it should be kept because we need to make sure everyone has health coverage; 35 percent say it’s because it will make it easier to purchase insurance
- 59 percent support “rate review,” where state regulators are allowed to review and approve or reject insurers’ increases they deem excessive
- 66 percent favor allowing young people up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ plans
- 48 percent of small business owners provide insurance to at least some of their employees, but of those who don’t offer it, 77 percent say it’s because they can’t afford it
- Of small businesses who do offer benefits, respondents said the two most compelling reasons to offer were because it helps retain good employees (64 percent) and they felt they had a responsibility to offer it (41 percent)
To read the full report go online to http://www.smallbusinessmajority.org/small-business-research/healthcare/small-business-owners-views-on-aca.php
To schedule an interview with John Arensmeyer or a small business owner in your area, call or email Erin Musgrave at (831) 477-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, to support America’s 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with our rapidly growing network of small business owners across the country to ensure their voices are an integral part of the public policy debate. Learn more about us on Wikipedia and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We also host the Health Coverage Guide, an independent, unbiased source of information for small businesses about health insurance.