House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Healthcare and Technology Subcommittee Chairwoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) issued the following statement on the new study released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) that shows an overwhelming majority of small business owners simply do not believe that ObamaCare will lower healthcare costs or reduce regulatory burdens. In fact, most expect the law to raise taxes and administrative burdens, while doing little if anything to actually improve healthcare.
The NFIB study coincides with Thursday's House Small Business Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology hearing that will examine whether small firms will be able to maintain their existing coverage under ObamaCare.
Chairman Graves said, "The NFIB study confirms what we've been hearing from small business owners-- the new health care law is a costly mandate that only serves to kill jobs and stunt economic growth. The uncertainty of the looming health care law provisions is holding business owners back from creating jobs because they believe they will need the capital to pay for the tax hikes and additional administrative burdens. At a time when our economy remains stagnant and over 14 million of American's are out of work--we should be doing everything possible to make it easier to do business in this country-- not harder. We must replace the costly provisions in the new health care law with real reforms that will actually make healthcare more affordable without saddling more regulations on the backs of small companies."
Ellmers said, "President Obama frequently said that "if you like your insurance you can keep it', but this study proves this may not be the case. The bottom-line is this study is more proof of the major uncertainties small business owners are facing. Instead of focusing on growing their business and hiring more workers, they have to constantly wonder what new mandates or regulations will be thrown at them by the government."
Major findings of the study include:
* By overwhelming margins, small employers who have some knowledge of the new law think that PPACA will not reduce the rate of health care (insurance) cost increases, will not reduce the administrative burden, will increase taxes, and will add to the federal deficit. They agree that PPACA will result in more people having health insurance coverage, but do not think it will yield a healthier American public.
* Fifty-seven percent of a cross-section of companies that employ 50 or fewer workers and offer coverage may stop doing so.
* Twenty percent of small employers currently offering expect to significantly change their benefit package and/or their employees' premium cost-share the next time they renew their health insurance plans. Almost all significant changes expected involve a decrease in benefits, an increase in employee cost-share, or both.
* Since the law's enactment, one in eight (12%) small employers have either had their health insurance plans terminated or been told that their plan would not be available in the future. Plan elimination is the first major consequence of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that small-business owners likely feel.
* Eighteen percent of small employers think they are "very familiar" with PPACA and another 40 percent think they are "somewhat familiar" with the new law.