For Immediate Release: 6.14.2012
Plurality of Michigan Small Business Owners Want Healthcare Law Upheld
June 14, 2012 – Nearly half (47 percent) of small business owners in Michigan want the Supreme Court to uphold the healthcare reform law—either as is or with only minor changes—and when they learn more about the law, that support rises to 52 percent, according to opinion polling released today by Small Business Majority. When those who say the law should be overturned learn more about it, their opposition falls from 42 to 35 percent.
The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision any day in the case against the Affordable Care Act, filed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and state attorneys general.
“Contrary to popular belief, small business owners in Michigan do not want the high court to throw out the Affordable Care Act,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “They see this law as helping everyone have coverage and bringing down healthcare costs—something that has been one of their top concerns for years. We hope Supreme Court justices understand how important this law is to small businesses who need relief from high healthcare costs.”
Key provisions of the law also have strong small business support, including one of the most crucial components for small businesses—the health insurance exchanges. The Affordable Care Act calls for exchanges—online marketplaces where small businesses can pool their buying power when purchasing coverage—to be up and running in every state by 2014. Nearly two-thirds, or 63 percent, of owners in Michigan say they would use their state exchange or consider using it to provide their employees with health benefits. What’s more, the majority of entrepreneurs find potential features of the exchange very appealing, including employee choice (77 percent), the exchange educating employees about plans (75 percent) and the exchange providing plans that offer prevention and wellness programs (79 percent). Additionally, a majority (62 percent) support Michigan applying for federal funds to set one up.
“Small businesses have been at the center of this lawsuit, and everything I hear is that they want it overturned. That’s not true for me, and it obviously isn’t true for many of my fellow entrepreneurs,” said Mark Hodesh, owner of Downtown Home and Garden in Ann Arbor, Mich. “I sincerely hope our Supreme Court justices listen to what real small businesses are saying about this law, not what a select few are saying for them, and that they uphold it. Going back to the status quo would be unthinkable.”
Other key findings from the poll:
- 56 percent of small businesses who support upholding the law believe it should be kept because we need to make sure everyone has health coverage; 30 percent say it’s because it will make it easier to purchase insurance
- 68 percent support the medical loss ratio requirement, where insurers are required to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on healthcare claims and quality improvement efforts
- 64 percent support “rate review,” where state regulators are allowed to review and approve or reject insurers’ increases they deem excessive
- 80 percent support prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions
- 66 percent support preventing insurance companies from basing insurance rates on health status; 70 percent support preventing insurers from charging women higher rates than men
- 66 percent favor allowing young people up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ plans
- 57 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 they felt they had a responsibility to offer it (53 percent) and because it helps retain good employees (42 percent)
- Nearly half of all small businesses (44 percent) said they’d be more likely to offer insurance if they qualified for a tax credit
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.