The previously mentioned business owner has had to generate a new position under HR to coordinate and facilitate the employer mandate, within an already small-staffed corporate office. He says, “we, the small business community, want meaningful reform to address these unintended consequences of Obamacare, while simultaneously finding affordable solutions to provide care for our employees.” The additional costs and administrative burdens associated with ACA place financial strain on small businesses without providing affordable coverage through the marketplace.
Other key drawbacks of Obamacare include rising premiums, a smaller choice of providers on the marketplace, and a more limited pool of doctors. Sean Hackbarth, Senior Editor at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce explains that small businesses saw a glimmer of hope when the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges opened. However, the hopes of business owners and employees did not come to fruition. The obligation to establish a form of health care accessible to all employees has generated a climate of frustration within the small business community.
Proponents of Obamacare valiantly claimed that enrollees would see a decrease in premiums; however, this was not the case, due to new benefits mandates and new taxes on providers, drugs, and medical devices, increased costs that are ultimately passed on to consumers via skyrocketing premiums. The pressure from small businesses for politicians on both sides of the aisle to work toward viable solutions to the rising cost of healthcare has not subsided. Lawmakers appear to remain divided across party lines.
Efforts toward repeal are in full swing as Texas v. Azar will be heard in the coming weeks by the Supreme Court. The case will again decide on ACA’s constitutionality. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made the individual mandate tax penalty $0, this has opened a legal pathway through which ACA could be repealed on the grounds that the mandate is an invalid tax. Without bringing in revenue, Congress has no constitutional obligation to uphold ACA.
Elimination of ACA could prove beneficial to Americans as it gives states the power to build meaningful legislation to counter the unintended consequences of the policy. A world with comprehensive healthcare reform would reflect a reduction in the cost of prescription medications, increased price transparency, lowered premiums, and other care options such as direct primary care (DPC). Whether reform or repeal are in the making—it is clear, small businesses and their employees still need feasible solutions from lawmakers to address flawed health care policy.