(ATLANTA) – While today’s Supreme Court ruling means that 6 million Americans can breathe a sigh of relief because they won’t lose their health insurance, tens of millions of individuals will still see double digit premium increases. The decision doesn’t change fact that the Affordable Care Act has done too little to keep costs down and too much to keep job growth down. Quite simply, the Affordable Care Act is still unaffordable. Moving forward, members of the Job Creators Network call on Congress and the President to come together to fix the Affordable Care Act so that it is truly affordable and sustainable.
“The problem with the Affordable Care Act isn’t what it tried to do, but what it failed to do—control costs,” said Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of the Job Creators Network. “The obstacle that has always prevented us from the noble goal of providing dependable health coverage for millions more Americans is unsustainable cost increases, and rather than fix this problem the ACA just threw more money and more people into a broken system.”
In the highly anticipated King v. Burwell U.S. Supreme Court decision released today, the majority opinion ruled the federal government can continue to provide subsidies for health insurance to individuals in the 34 states that did not establish health insurance exchanges. While a ruling against the government could have forced a near immediate requirement for the Congress and President to reopen and change the law, the sustained unpopularity of the ACA because of its impact on job creators and individuals means the need for change will persist.
“The Health Insurance Tax is one of the ACA’s biggest flaws: It drives up the cost of health insurance on small businesses,” said Ortiz. “So the HIT hits hardest on the job creators who were already providing more affordable health coverage before the so-called ‘Affordable’ Care Act was ever created.”
The HIT is a tax against health insurance companies for policies they sell to the “fully insured” market, where most small businesses purchase health coverage. The tax is projected to claim $130 billion during the first decade and significantly more after that, and two independent government analyses have shown nearly all of the cost will be passed directly to customers. The National Federation of Independent Business projects the HIT will reduce private sector employment growth by as much as 262,000 jobs through 2022, with 59 percent of the impact falling on small businesses.
“When it’s fully implemented, the HIT will drive up the cost of small business provided family health coverage by $450 per year, more than $8,000 from the time a child is born and raised to age 18, most of the current price for a year of college tuition, and anything but affordable,” concluded Ortiz. “Quite apart from what the High Court ruling might compel them to do, the President and Congress need to come together to reform the ACA because it isn’t making health care or jobs affordable at all.”