Main Street business owners fear instability, starved state budgets, skyrocketing premiums, and collapse of private insurance market.
As House Committees debate the GOP’s “American Health Care Act,” Main Street Alliance, a national network of small business owners, issued the following statement:
The House Republicans’ proposed health care bills would cause serious harm to small business owners. Main Street Alliance stands in staunch opposition to these attacks on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. Access to affordable, high-quality health coverage has been a core concern for small businesses for years. Under the ACA, more than four million small business owners and their employees were finally able to afford coverage through the individual marketplace and Medicaid. This has brought the rate of uninsured among small businesses to a historic low.
“Let’s be clear: rather than focusing on strengthening the coverage, the Republican plan would destroy the insurance market and leave millions of business owners without coverage,” said Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of Main Street Alliance. “Stripping subsidies and removing the individual mandate could lead to the ‘death spiral’ of spiking premiums, dwindling healthy participants, and fewer insurance companies offering coverage. If we don’t fight back, we could witness the near collapse of the private insurance market.”
The GOP plan that is now on the table would erode these important gains of the past seven years. Not only would it cost the average enrollee an additional $1,542 per year, but it would remove important market reforms that directly benefit small business owners, such as the uniform risk pool for the small group market. Reversing these provisions means one employee’s expensive illness could trigger spikes in premiums for the entire firm.
The quality of care is also at stake - health insurance companies could go back to offering less coverage at higher prices. Small businesses will also be especially hard hit by the freeze on Medicaid, which is a valuable resource for them and their employees.
“If Republicans have their way, state-level protections will be meaningless, and the ACA protections will be stripped away–allowing insurance companies to sell junk insurance across state lines,” said Kelly Conklin, co-owner of Foley-Waite LLC and Main Street Alliance Executive Committee Member. “This GOP plan is nothing more than an invitation to insurance companies to offer low-quality insurance and once again put millions of middle class families at risk of medical bankruptcy.”
Overall, the Republican plan is taking thousands of dollars a year out of the pockets of middle class consumers across the US. All of these factors will siphon millions of dollars out of the local economies that support small businesses.