The response from small businesses since the passage of the ACA last year has been overwhelmingly positive.
Major insurance carriers and research organizations have reported dramatic increases in small businesses offering health insurance due primarily the ACA’s tax credits. The tax credits are also making health insurance more affordable for the small businesses that were already providing the coverage to their employees.
As this real life evidence and a recent survey by the Small Business Majority show, the ACA is and will do exactly what it was intended to do—encourage small businesses to offer employer-based health insurance by making it more affordable.
With this level of support from America’s small businesses for the tax credits, it is no wonder that the House leadership is rushing an ACA repeal to a floor vote without going through the standard committee hearing process. Real small business organizations like the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and ours would have flooded committee hearings with grateful business owners.
Committee members would have heard how the owners finally could afford health insurance that will help with employee retention and recruiting. Other business owners would have explained that without the tax credits they can no longer afford to offer health insurance to employees. Committee members would have also heard stories of owners with their own pre-existing conditions who finally can have health insurance for themselves because group health insurance was now affordable.
Small business owners would have also told members that taking away the tax credits would result in a tax increase for them if they want to keep their group health insurance. Collectively a $4 billion tax increase.
Had such committee meetings been allowed, Congress would have clearly heard the voices of small business owners now realizing that all the scare tactics have been wrong about the ACA. It does not require them to provide health insurance. It does not raise their business taxes. It is not killing small business jobs.
But the ACA does offer them and their employees a chance to address the issue that has been their number one concern for over a decade—affordable health insurance.
It is time to set partisan politics aside and for each Representative to stand up tomorrow and reject this $4 billion tax increase on small business.
Frank Knapp, Jr. is the president and CEO of The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.