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Main Street small business owners need an HHS Secretary with a plan to address affordable health coverage for themselves and their employees.
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Main Street Alliance Urges Senators to Reject Nomination of Rep. Tom Price for Health and Human Services Secretary
Main Street small business owners oppose Price nomination; warn Senate leaders his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, privatize Medicare and block-grant Medicaid would negatively impact their bottom line.
Ahead of today’s confirmation hearing, Main Street Alliance (MSA), a national network of state-based small business coalitions, calls upon the Finance Committee to oppose Mr. Trump’s nominee for HHS Secretary, Representative Tom Price (R-GA). In a letter to the committee opposing his nomination, Main Street Alliance warns that Rep. Price’s policy agenda would prove particularly harmful for small business owners.
MSA National Director Amanda Ballantyne writes:
“HHS-administered programs, such as the ACA, Medicaid, and Medicare, have provided much-needed relief to small business owners, who have long struggled to obtain affordable, quality coverage in the private market…. Unfortunately, Representative Price’s record on these programs is dismal.
Representative Price is a proponent of radical proposals to cut billions from Medicare, converting it to a voucher which would lose value over time and shift more and more costs onto seniors and people with disabilities. He also supports increasing the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67, which would increase the number of older adults--many of whom are small business retires-- without health care coverage. Furthermore, Representative Price supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a plan that would cause 30 million people to lose their coverage by 2019, including over 4 million business owners; collapse the individual market; and cause premiums for small business owners to skyrocket.
Beyond the direct health and financial costs to small business owners, Representative Price’s plan to dismantle the current health care system would siphon billions of dollars out of local economies, starve state funding, and under-resource vital programs that small businesses rely on.”
The ripple effects of repealing the ACA and implementing Representative Price’s policy agenda would be far-reaching and disproportionately hinder small business growth. Main Street Alliance urges members of the Senate Finance Committee to oppose the nomination of Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services.
View the full letter HERE.
Trump budget's cuts to Medicaid threaten small businesses and local economies.
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a popular and successful program, jointly run by the federal and state governments, that provides health care to over 75 million people. As the single largest insurer, Medicaid offers high-quality care at affordable rates and finances over 15% of all personal health care spending in the U.S. Enrollees include:
6.1 million people who own or work in small businesses
37 million, or 1 in 3, children
37 million seniors and people with disabilities
Medicaid provides parents and other adults economic security through health coverage that protects them from medical debt and allows them to stay healthy and work. Robust research shows that Medicaid leads to better birth outcomes, lower mortality rates, improved health, higher earnings, improved long-run educational attainment, reduced disability, and lower rates of hospitalization and emergency department visits.
What would the Republican plan to cut Medicaid mean for small businesses?
President Trump and Congressional Republicans are trying to significantly cut Medicaid by instituting a “block-grant” system that would weaken the program and cripple state budgets.
The Republican plan essentially shifts significant financial responsibility from the federal budget to state budgets, and cuts entirely the program’s additional federal support during times of economic crisis. To compensate for these severe funding cuts, states would likely have no choice but to institute draconian cuts to eligibility, benefits, and provider payments. Here’s how these cuts would impact small businesses:
Up to 21 million people will lose their health care coverage, including many small business owners. States would also likely be allowed to institute waiting lists or to limit the number of people with coverage. Poor seniors and people with disabilities would be at risk since health care costs for those people comprise almost half of all Medicaid spending. Provider payments would be cut, making it harder to find participating doctors.
Local economies will suffer job loss and billions of dollars will drain from local economies. The proposal would eliminate an estimated 3.1 million jobs between 2013 and 2020. The cuts would siphon billions of dollars out of local economies (both direct spending and multiplier effects), reducing consumer demand and local economic activity.
Health care costs will rise for everyone. Deep cuts to Medicaid will mean millions won’t get the coverage they need and will end up in emergency rooms without insurance to pay for their care, increasing the costs of uncompensated care. To cover these expenses, insurers will charge higher rates for their products, increasing premiums for small business owners and the self-employed.
State budgets will be decimated. Costs will shift to states that are already facing deep cuts to health and other programs because of budget crises. The 2017 budget would cut federal Medicaid funding by $1 trillion — or nearly 25 percent — over ten years. These cuts would grow to 33 percent by 2026. Currently, the federal government and states share in unanticipated costs. Under a block grant, states alone would bear them.
Small businesses in the Chicago and Los Angeles-San Diego region are getting fewer loans and smaller amounts from banks than in 2001.
A new report by Woodstock Institute shows stark disparities in loan rates for business owners in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Small business owners in low- and moderate-income areas receive disproportionately fewer bank loans than small businesses in more affluent areas.This lack of access to capital compromises a crucial source of economic opportunity and asset-building within lower income neighborhoods. Bank loans to businesses are necessary for community development because businesses without adequate access to capital fail to grow, cannot hire workers, and cannot make the kinds of investment often required of entrepreneurs.
“I needed a small loan to manage a surge of growth at my gourmet donut shop. It would’ve allowed me to triple my workforce with 24 new jobs and rescue a dilapidated corner of my neighborhood,” said Brad Keiller, the owner of Nomad Donuts in San Diego and a member of the Main Street Alliance. “I should’ve been a shoo-in for a small business loan. I have hundreds of thousands of personal capital invested, excellent credit, I’ve been in business for over two years and my revenue is through the roof. But even with the loan guaranteed by the SBA, banks don’t have enough incentive to lend to a business like mine. It’s been over a year and I’m on my eighth attempt to secure funding.”
The report, Patterns of Disparity: Small Business Lending in the Chicago and Los Angeles-San Diego Regions, examines bank lending to small businesses in the Chicago region as well as in the Los Angeles and San Diego region. It is the first in a four-part series of research reports examining small business access to bank loans in eight major metropolitan areas.Read more