Survey: Businesses won't wait for elections before implementing health law

Mercer surveyed 4,000 businesses immediately following the high court’s decision.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the country’s largest small-business organization, joined 26 state attorneys general in filing the legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Republicans consistently argue that the law will burden small employers and stifle new hiring.

But only 28 percent of the employers in Mercer’s survey said the new employer mandate will pose a “significant challenge.” The law requires many businesses to offer healthcare coverage or pay a penalty for all workers who buy coverage on their own, with help from the federal government.

“Employers with large part-time populations, such as retailers and healthcare organizations, are faced with the difficult choice of either increasing the number of employees eligible for coverage or changing their workforce strategy so that employees work fewer hours,” said David Rahill, president of Mercer’s Health and Benefits business.

— This post was updated at 12:50 p.m. An earlier version incorrectly stated that the survey covered only small businesses.