Republican leadership's plan would send the health markets into a tailspin and cause massive job loss and economic destabilization.
Late last night, Senate Republicans chose to play politics with the lives of more than 30 million people when they passed a budget resolution with instructions to repeal the Affordable Care Act. A repeal of the health care law could cost nearly 3 million jobs and take away coverage from 30 million people. Small business owners would be left with skyrocketing health care costs, fewer protections or options, and an economy reeling from massive revenue cuts.
“Let’s be clear: rather than focusing on improving and making more efficient our healthcare system, the Republicans voted to move forward with a plan to destroy the insurance market and leave millions of business owners, their employees and their customers without coverage,” said Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of Main Street Alliance, a national network of small business owners. “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. This late-night vote was the first step towards the near collapse of the private insurance market.”
A repeal would prove particularly devastating for small business owners, who would see their insurance costs go through the roof and face an economy reeling from this disruption and widespread job loss. Health insurance costs would increase immediately for every small business that qualifies for the health premium tax credits and Main Street would be vulnerable to continued price gouging by health insurers, and retain no bargaining power, risk pooling, or benefits of economies of scale.
“Senate Republicans just moved forward with their plan to eliminate affordable health care for my employees and customers,” said Marilyn Sealy, owner of Wells Rugs Service in Morristown and a member of the Main Street Alliance of New Jersey Steering Committee. “That means less money in the pockets of people in my community, and fewer people buying goods and services from small business owners like myself. It would be a disaster for our state and local economies.”
Repealing the Affordable Care Act is just the first step. Republicans in leadership have their sights set on slashing Medicaid, which covers over 70 million, and turning Medicare into a skimpy, private voucher system with huge out-of-pocket expenses for seniors and big limits on choice of doctors and hospitals. Cuts to Medicaid and Medicare would suck billions of dollars out of the economy, reducing consumer demand, and impacting small businesses’ bottom lines.