House Passage of ACA Replacement Plan Devastating for Entrepreneurs
Statement from Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer on the American Health Care Act and how it will harm small businesses
We are frustrated and disappointed that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act today, the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. This is an irresponsible and costly move that will do little more than create instability in the insurance market and greatly reduce the ability of small business owners, their employees and self-employed Americans to obtain health coverage. What’s more, we know small businesses strongly support the current healthcare law and oppose the replacement.
Our scientific opinion polling found small businesses favor the Affordable Care Act over the American Health Care Act by a 2:1 ratio. The survey also found small businesses oppose key components of the AHCA, and that nearly 6 in 10 small business owners say they support the Affordable Care Act.
We believe the ACA can and should be improved, but replacing it with the American Health Care Act will impede entrepreneurial activity and reduce job growth. The legislation will make health insurance less attainable and affordable for most entrepreneurs, particularly those with pre-existing conditions by allowing states to opt out of many of the ACA’s protections and coverage requirements. What’s more, setting aside $8 billion for high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions doesn’t go nearly far enough and will make coverage unattainable for many self-employed entrepreneurs. The fact that lawmakers are moving ahead with this plan without a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office is especially concerning.
Additionally, the AHCA significantly rolls back Medicaid, which currently covers many small business workers. And it penalizes small employers who hire older workers by charging those businesses up to 500 percent more for older employees than younger ones—a provision of the replacement plan that a majority of small business owners oppose.
Today’s vote shows many lawmakers are blind to the reality that the ACA is good for small business. Pushing forward with a sub-par replacement plan is the wrong move for our country, our small business community and the millions of entrepreneurs and employees who have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing small businesses today. Since 2005, we have actively engaged small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions, and have delivered information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth and drive a strong economy. We regularly engage our network of 50,000 small business owners, along with a formal strategic partnership program of more than 150 business organizations, enabling us to reach more than 500,000 entrepreneurs. 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, including access to capital, taxes, healthcare, retirement, entrepreneurship and workforce development.Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.