MSA Leaders Weigh in on ACA Ruling, Highlight How Health Law is Helping Small Businesses

Small business leaders from the Main Street Alliance and our state affiliates weighed in and framed the debate in press coverage of the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act. MSA small business leaders shared concrete, personal stories of how the law is helping their businesses and what small businesses can look forward to now that the law has been upheld and will keep moving forward. A compilation of links and excerpts from the coverage follows!


 THE PALM BEACH POST :: Gov. Scott says health-care ruling is 'disappointing'

The decision was embraced at Palm Beach Groves in Lantana, where the business relied on a tax credit to offer health insurance to its employees, all of whom are older and have preexisting conditions, said General Manager and CFO Louisa McQueeney.

“I think it’s great news. It means that we can move forward, the gains we made this year, the premiums being flat and we applied for the tax credit which is $7,400, which is great.”

WPTV NEWS CHANNEL 5 :: Local small businesses react to Supreme Court ruling

McQueeney is pleased with the Supreme Court's decision. She took advantage of a tax credit of about $7500 this year and believes other businesses could benefit too.

"You are a business person. There is money sitting there on the table, right there, take it.  And provide people with health care," she said.

MSNBC’S POLITICS NATION :: Lives changed by the Affordable Care Act

Louisa McQueeney interviewed on importance of ACA for her business and employees.


WASHINGTON POST :: Mixed emotions: Small business owners, advocates respond to health-care ruling

Quotes MSBC leader John Costin:

“Provisions of the Affordable Care Act – from rate review to the value for premiums rule to the guarantee that there’s somewhere to go for coverage even if you have a pre-existing condition – are already making a difference for small businesses, and there’s more to look forward to.”

BIZJOURNALS WASHINGTON BUREAU :: Supreme Court upholds Obamacare; politics will determine law's future

Small business groups that supported health care reform were elated by the decision.

“Small business owners knew we couldn’t afford to go back to the nightmare scenario that health care was for us before reform,” said John Costin, owner of Veneer Services Unlimited in Kennebuck, Maine, and a leader of the Maine Small Business Coalition. “The Supreme Court’s decision means we won’t have to. Instead, we can keep looking forward.”

“Now that the court case is behind us, it's time to put politics aside and get down to implementing the law to maximize the benefits for small businesses,” Costin said.


COLUMBIA PATCH :: O'Malley Cites Columbia Business to Illustrate Importance of Health Care Ruling

Gov. Martin O'Malley is highlighting a Columbia businessman's support for the Affordable Care Act as an example of why the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the law matters in Maryland.

At the end of the op-ed, England said feared these savings would be taken away by a Supreme Court decision, but after today's ruling, he can rest easier.

"It's unbelievable," said England in an interview with Patch on Thursday. "I'm walking on air."


PHILLYBURBS.COM :: NJ still has work to do to implement health care reform law

NJ MSA’s Odette Cohen quoted:

Willingboro physician Odette Cohen, a vocal supporter of the reform law, said she was “elated” by the court’s decision, claiming it will ensure that millions of uninsured residents will have an avenue for obtaining coverage. She also said small businesses like her practice will be able to get more affordable plans for employees.

“This is really good news; the law is in place. There’s hope,” Cohen said Thursday.

Popular components of the law that already have been implemented, such as provisions permitting young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until they turn 26 and preventing insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions, also will be maintained, Cohen said.

NEW JERSEY 101.5 :: Obamacare Upheld, NJ Hospitals, Businesses React

NJ MSA small business leaders Kelly Conklin, Henry Passapera, and Odette Cohen quoted in online story; Kelly Conklin featured on radio segment.

MYCENTRALJERSEY.COM :: Top court keeps health insurance mandate, pleasing many area residents

Anita Thomas, owner and chief executive officer of AM Thomas and Associates in Plainfield, finds much to like in the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Thomas, who is also executive director of the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, was more than happy with the decision — especially since she had just come from a procedure at a doctor’s office after the long-awaited ruling was released.

NEWSWORKS (powered by WHYY) :: Setting up state health insurance exchanges is good for small business

Opinion piece by NJ MSA’s Kelly Conklin.

BBC WORLD NEWS :: Supreme Court to rule on 'Obamacare'

NJ MSA’s Kelly Conklin interviewed for BBC World News.


KGW NEWS CHANNEL 8 PORTLAND :: Local impact of health care reform

Interview with MSA-Oregon co-chair Jim Houser at Hawthorne Auto Clinic.

OREGON BUSINESS :: Oregon and the health care ruling

From Jim Houser, Hawthorne Auto Clinic, Portland, co-chair Main Street Alliance of Oregon: "I joined the fight for health care reform because I knew from painful experience that the insurance companies weren't meeting the needs of small businesses. After nearly 10 years of double-digit premium increases, the ACA provided my small business over $12,000 a year in tax credits and an over 3% drop in premiums. (And my two children were able to rejoin our health plan.)  I saw the campaign to reform health care in this country as an investment in the success of my small business.”

SALEM STATESMAN JOURNAL :: Kitzhaber ready to move forward to move forward with Oregon’s healthcare transformation

The Main Street Alliance of Oregon represents business owners favoring the law. “This is a good day for small businesses in Oregon and across America,” said Jose Gonzalez of Tu Casa Real Estate in Salem.

“We’ve been working hard to make health care reform work for small businesses. Today, we should take a minute to celebrate – and then get back to the work of implementing the law.”

THE OREGONIAN ::  The Oregonian – Supreme Court health care decision: For Molalla’s Northwoods Nursery it’s less stress

"We're spending over $70,000 a year to cover insurance for our employees," Gilbert, 68, said. "As rates go up, we pay more, then employees pay more for insurance."

But now that Gilbert knows that his business will benefit from a tax credit due to the Affordable Care Act, which was upheld today by the U.S. Supreme Court, he no longer worries as much.

"It's a huge decision for a small business like mine," he said. "We're on the front line to provide insurance to our employees and we will continue to do that now.  As long as I am in business, I am dedicated to help my employees. "

PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL :: Supreme Court upholds most of health care law

On the other hand, the Main Street Alliance of Oregon group gushed over the news. The Alliance represents small businesses that, group officials said, are already benefitting from tax credits and cost controls imposed by the law.

"After nearly 10 years of double-digit premium increases, the (Act) provided my small business with more than $12,000 a year in tax credits and a 3 percent drop in premiums," said Jim Houser, owner of Portland's Hawthorne Auto Clinic and the Main Street Alliance's co-chairman, in a statement.

EUGENE REGISTER GUARD :: In Oregon, Obamacare draws mostly applause but some criticism

But another small-business group, the Main Street Alliance, celebrated the court’s decision on its blog. Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland and a leader of the state affiliate, wrote: “I joined the fight for health care reform because I knew from painful experience that the insurance companies weren’t meeting the needs of small businesses… The court’s decision to affirm the ACA makes this a great day for America and for America’s small businesses.”

KATU-TV PORTLAND :: Portland business owner glad court upheld healthcare law

880 AM RADIO MEDFORD :: Southern Oregon live talk show, MSA-Oregon co-chair Mark Kellenbeck spoke on ACA as the decision came out.


RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH :: Richmond-area small businesses react to health care ruling

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the health care reform law left Tammy Rostov jumping for joy.

"We're very excited; we jumped up and down and hugged when the news was announced," the owner of Rostov's Coffee and Tea in Richmond said Thursday.

"I provide full coverage for employees, and we were close to being priced out of the market," she said, adding that the new law will help prevent that.


WASHINGTON POST :: Small restaurant owner: Health-care ruling provides certainty, critical tax credits

Commentary by MSA of Washington’s Makini Howell (Plum Bistro, Seattle):

Then, President Obama’s health care reform law came along. When I crunched the numbers, I found out that the law’s health care tax credit for small businesses would immediately cut 20 percent off the cost of insuring my employees. And in 2014, when the law’s fully in effect, that tax credit goes up to about one-third of my costs.

Suddenly, providing health insurance wasn’t just something I dreamed of doing – it was something I actually could do. About three months ago, right around the two-year anniversary of the law, I began enrolling my employees in a health insurance plan for the first time. Let me tell you – that felt good!

NPR :: How Health Care Ruling Impacts Small Business

Features Main Street Alliance member Jody Hall (Cupcake Royale).

KING 5 :: Affordable Care Act a lifeline for people with pre-existing conditions

Story of Main Street Alliance of Washington member Laura Waite (Jay's Professional Automotive).

EVERETT HERALD :: Ban on lifetime limits helps Mukilteo family

SPOKESMAN REVIEW :: Reactions are mixed locally

Spokane business and real estate developer Ron Wells called the court ruling a victory for people and business.  He applauded the requirement of forcing insurance companies to spend 80 percent of their premium collections on paying medical bills rather than fighting claims, paying exorbitant executive salaries, building rich reserves and hiring lobbyists.

KUOW THE CONVERSATION :: Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

Features MSA of Washington leader Makini Howell.

TAKE PART :: Small Business Owners React to Supreme Court Healthcare Decision

For Hall, the decision means it will become more affordable for her to continue offering healthcare for her 72 workers. Before the Affordable Care Act, she was subject to annual rate hikes of 20 percent—in 2009 it climbed as high as 40 percent—and in 2011, she paid over $67,000 to cover her workers. But this year, Hill said her premium only went up five percent, an increase she called “unheard of.”

KVI 570 AM RADIO :: Interviews with Main Street Alliance members (Molly Moon Neitzel and Laura McDowell Waite)

KOMO RADIO :: Interview with Main Street Alliance member Jody Hall (Cupcake Royale)

KOMO 4 & KOMO RADIO :: Interview with Laura Waite (small business owner who has a pre-existing condition & relies on the Pre-Existing Condition Plan for coverage)

Q13 FOX :: In-studio interviews with Main Street Alliance members Makini Howell (Plum Bistro) and Jody Hall (Cupcake Royale)

KOMO TV :: Interview with Main Street Alliance member Laura Waite (Jay’s Pro Auto)

KIRO TV :: Interview with Main Street Alliance member Makini Howell (Plum Bistro)

KPLU :: Interview with Main Street Alliance member Molly Moon Neitzel (Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream)

“Some small businesses are actually getting tax breaks. Molly Moon Neitzel is the owner of Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream in Seattle. She says since the health law was passed, she’s been able to get tax credits the past two years because she offers health insurance for her employees.”