As the clock ticks closer and closer to 2014 and the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the debate is shifting. Theoretical arguments about the potential impacts of the law are being replaced by actual actions. In some cases, the theoretical scenarios are proved correct, while other predicted outcomes are not as accurate. For small businesses though, many of their fears are quickly becoming realities.
A recent Wall Street Journal article looked into these differences through the lens of whether PPACA will be a net positive or negative for small businesses. While one of the architects of PPACA claimed in the article the health care law would be a positive for small businesses, the actual experiences of individual small business owners simply do not support that claim.
As Michael Tanner of Cato pointed out in the Wall Street Journal story, small business owners are very concerned the health care reform law will negatively affect their business. According to the Gallup poll cited by Tanner, nearly 50 percent of small businesses felt the Affordable Care Act would be bad for their business and 55 percent felt it would increase health care costs.
These are not just data points. Such numbers reflect the real concerns and challenges facing small business owners throughout the country.
Take, for example, Eric Isaac of Clare, Michigan. Eric is concerned that increased health care costs from the health insurance tax (HIT) could lead to his firm going bankrupt.
The ever-increasing cost of health insurance has prevented Rhonda Wantola of Franceville, Indiana from hiring employees for her family-owned business.
And, according to Virginia Delegate Kathy Byron, the burdens of the HIT and Affordable Care Act on small businesses are “endangering the livelihoods of millions” of Virginians.
Small businesses and their employees deserve better. The closer we get to 2014, the more urgent it becomes to ensure something is done to avoid the HIT’s damaging effect on small businesses and their employees.