The Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, led by Chairman Richard Hanna (R-NY), today held a hearing to examine the effect of the President's health care law on self-employed businesses in America.
“Many self-employed businesses have experienced higher health insurance costs, shrinking provider networks, and coverage confusion since Obamacare was signed into law,” said Chairman Hanna. “This hearing provided a valuable dialogue about the effect of the health law on a segment of our community that many have forgotten about – the 15 million self-employed American businesses - and an opportunity to discuss positive healthcare solutions for these firms.
"Yesterday, the House passed the Individual Mandate Penalty Law Equals Fairness Act so that the self-employed would receive the same Obamacare mandate delay that other businesses enjoy. In fairness, the administration’s decision to delay part of the law should be applied equitably to all Americans, including sole proprietors and the self-employed.”
According to the National Association for the Self Employed (NASE), over 77 percent of small businesses in the United States are self-employed ones. A recent NASE survey found that nearly 60 percent of respondents believe there is a “low” or “very low” chance they’ll be able to secure affordable and comprehensive coverage in 2014 and about 17 percent of respondents indicated that they are forgoing health insurance in 2014 due to costs.
Materials from the hearing are available on the Committee’s website HERE.
Charlie Arnold, President and Owner of Arnold Powerwash LLC in Lewes, DE, said, “…I have found myself in a continued state of confusion to the status of my current health care coverage. As well as the additional confusion caused by the restrictive actions taken by both the Departments of Treasury and Health and Human Services toward the rules governing Health Savings Accounts (HRAs), and the continuing disparity faced by the self-employed versus 'big business.' namely the two reprieves given by the Obama Administration to larger businesses in the last year that grants them freedom from complying with the new law. However, the self-employed are left having the March 31, 2014 enrollment deadline looming over our heads, while we are forced to confront the potential for possible penalties for not enrolling in Obamacare.
“Compliance is not made any easier by the continued unilateral action taken by the Administration to delay or interpret the law without input that leads to further confusion and mistrust in the system.”
Todd McCracken, President of the National Small Business Association in Washington, DC said, “The highs costs and complexity they face today, combined with enormous uncertainty around any future improvement, have conspired to make many small businesses re-think whether their companies should continue to be entangled in the provision of health insurance. Of course, there is no such choice for our nation’s self-employed. Whether health insurance is an individual or employer responsibility, they cannot avoid participation.”
Alan Schulman, President of Insurance Benefits & Advisors, LLC in Rockville, MD said, “President Obama famously campaigned on ‘if you like your health plan you can keep it.’ Millions of Americans with individual coverage found out that wasn’t exactly true this past January 1. Many millions more small employers and their employees are going to find that out for themselves over the course of this year too, again with the bulk of them finding it out at some point this fall. Prices for many are increasing, but in addition, their plan options are going to change.”