A Repeal of the ACA Threatens The Financial Health of Small Business Owners
Small business owners called on the Minnesota Congressional delegation to vote no on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Business owners, members of Main Street Alliance MN, shared stories about how the ACA has fostered entrepreneurship, especially for minority owned businesses and their employees. They discussed how a repeal of the ACA will lead to higher costs, collapse the private insurance market, squash entrepreneurship and stall job growth in Minnesota.
Small businesses like Nura Holistic are a good example of business owners that benefitted from the Affordable Care Act through expanded Health coverage.
“I couldn’t afford insurance for three years before ACA. During that time, I had three asthma attacks that cost $1,000 each time,” said Crystal Larson, co-owner of Nura Holistic Massage in Minneapolis. “As an entrepreneur, I benefited from the expansion of Medicaid, and now this repeal threatens the health care of me and my family.”
The ACA has leveled the playing field with larger businesses. Before the ACA small business owners paid 18% more on average for health coverage and received fewer benefits than larger companies, making it hard to compete for employees. “An ACA repeal would impact our decision to expand and hire,” added Aisha Wadud, co-owner of Nura. “We are planning an expansion, but if the repeal happens and people are dropped from healthcare, people will want to work for a bigger company that can provide health insurance.”
“When my wife and I founded our company about 13 years ago, we were able to take advantage of MinnesotaCare at the time. MinnesotaCare is now completely funded by the ACA. If we did not have access to MinnesotaCare at the time, our business would not have gotten off the ground,” added Todd Mikkelson, owner of Sprayrack.com in Orono.
“My household of four is a middle income family with two children. Without the Affordable Care Act, my family would be uninsured,” said Holly Hatch Surisook, owner of Sen Yai Sen Lek in Minneapolis. “The ACA needs adjustments--however, getting rid of the ACA altogether does not provide health insurance for my family. Should Congress vote to repeal the ACA, you will be leaving middle class entrepreneurs uninsured and vulnerable, even as we help to drive the success of the U.S. Main Street economy.”
Businesses also talked about the devastating impact of a repeal on the state budget and economy in Minnesota: “If the ACA is repealed, Minnesota stands to lose over $2 billion annually in federal funding, which would have a devastating impact on the health of our state budget and our economy,” said Dave Zaffrann at TakeAction Minnesota. “Repealing even parts of the law through budget reconciliation, and even if the impacts of repeal are delayed, would also create a dangerous level of uncertainty in the private health insurance market. Insurance companies could decide to stop selling individual health insurance in Minnesota.”
If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, 380,000 of people in Minnesota would lose health coverage, and MN stands to lose 16.4 billion in funding. 174,600 of Minnesotans who get help paying for their premiums would lose it. “A repeal of the ACA would prove particularly devastating for small business owners, who would see their insurance costs go through the roof, face a nearly collapsed private insurance market, and an economy reeling from this disruption,” said Corinne Horowitz, State Director of Main Street Alliance MN.