National Survey: Eight Years After Obamacare Passed, Two-Thirds of Business Leaders Want It Repealed or Overhauled
Washington, DC (August 7, 2018) – Sixty-nine percent of small business owners and 71-percent of large business executives want the Affordable Care Act repealed or substantially changed, according to a recent national Morning Consult survey commissioned by the Job Creators Network.
“Almost a decade after Obamacare passed, there is still broad dissatisfaction among business leaders,” said Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of JCN. “Whether we asked small business owners or corporate executives, the law that was supposed to help businesses remains deeply unpopular in the business community.”
According to the research, almost 70 percent of small business owners want the law repealed altogether or substantially changed. On the large business side, over 70 percent of executives who were surveyed said the law should be repealed or significantly changed.
“That’s a remarkably consistent result considering the law treats small businesses and large businesses differently,” said Ortiz.
He pointed out that while businesses with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the employer mandate, Obamacare imposes many other taxes and mandates that make health insurance too expensive for small employers. That explains why the percentage of small businesses providing coverage for employees has dropped since the law was passed in 2010. In fact, the number of employers with fewer than 10 workers that provide insurance dropped by 36 percent under Obamacare. Less than a quarter of very small employers – 22 percent – now offer a healthcare benefit.
Meanwhile, corporations with more than 50 full-time workers must provide health insurance, and the law defines full-time employment as 30 hours per week, instead of the traditional 40 hours.
“Obamacare is not getting better with age,” said Ortiz. “Small and large businesses have different reasons to hate it, and they still want Congress and the administration to address the problems,” said Ortiz.
Small business owners and corporate executives support one change in particular – the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs) – which the current administration has allowed through regulation. Interestingly, support is higher among corporate executives, according to the research, because many small businesses don’t seem to know much about them.
AHPs allow businesses to purchase health insurance through associations, allowing them to pool their risk and spread the costs. The Labor Department recently expanded access to AHPs to as many as 4 million Americans, although the rule is being challenged in court by states that want to protect Obamacare.
According to the Job Creators Network survey, only 34 percent of small business owners are familiar with AHPs, despite that they are potentially the biggest beneficiaries. Seventy-one percent of corporate executives know about AHPs. Among small business owners who have heard of AHPs, 54 percent support the idea. Seventy-two percent of large business executives who are familiar with AHPs support them.
“This represents a major opportunity for the administration,” said Ortiz. “They need to keep educating business owners about association health plans, especially small business owners.”