Senate Healthcare Bill Would Drive Up Costs, Stifle Growth for Small Businesses
Statement from Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer on why the U.S. Senate’s proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act would harm small businesses.
After weeks of closed-door meetings and backroom deals, the U.S. Senate today released a draft of its proposed revisions to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last month to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As we anticipated, the Senate’s plan for repealing and replacing the ACA would throw the insurance market into chaos and make it much harder for small business owners, their employees and self-employed Americans to obtain health coverage.
We believe the ACA should be improved, but replacing it with the AHCA is not the answer because it will stifle entrepreneurial activity and stunt job growth, costing the U.S. economy an estimated one million jobs by 2026. Repealing and replacing the ACA will make health insurance less attainable and affordable for most entrepreneurs, particularly for those with pre-existing conditions. It would also phase out the expansion of Medicaid, which covers millions of workers employed by small firms.
Since Republican senators chose to make decisions that would impact virtually every American in private, the small business community never had the opportunity to weigh in on healthcare reform. If we had the chance, we would have noted that Small Business Majority’s scientific opinion polling found small employers prefer the ACA to the AHCA by a 2:1 margin.
It was almost inevitable that a healthcare plan crafted with no input from anyone outside of a handful of senators and their staffs would disappoint, and that is certainly the case with the latest version of the AHCA. Small employers did not ask for this attempt at healthcare overhaul. Instead, they want quality, affordable health coverage for themselves and their employees. The ACA already provides that. If the Senate actually cares about small businesses as much as its members claim, it will scrap the AHCA in its entirety and focus on making the ACA better for all Americans, including our nation’s job creators.
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of an inclusive, equitable and diverse economy. We actively engage our network of more than 55,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. 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. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.