NSBA Weighs-in on Health Reform

September 13, 2017

After a dramatic procedural vote that passed by a razor-thin margin on July 25, Senate Republicans successfully teed up debate on dismantling the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), yet ultimately came up empty-handed prior to adjourning for their summer recess. NSBA weighed-in on the debate and various proposals urging lawmakers to consider how the proposals would impact America’s job creators.

Among the various proposals being discussed in on Capitol Hill is the repeal-and-replace plan offered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; repeal-only legislation offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.); and more recently, a single-payer proposal offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

It remains unclear where the health care debate will go next. NSBA has worked to ensure small-business priorities are well represented in Congress and has offered its own platforms for reform, citing that any reform process must be bipartisan, seek stakeholder input and be transparent.

Under the ACA, according to NSBA survey data, 69 percent of small firms experienced premium increases exceeding 20 percent. And while costs are a huge headache, so is the law’s complexity– it takes the average small-business owner 13 hours per month to stay abreast of all the changes under ACA – that’s nearly four work weeks every year.

The lynchpins to successful health care reform are: affordability, universal access, individual responsibility, proper market-based incentives, improved quality and eliminating wasteful care.  NSBA is also calling on lawmakers to take a serious look at the drivers of health care costs: rewarding procedures instead of outcomes; hidden pricing structures; electronic records that fail to properly transport and communicate for the patient; and rampant defensive medicine.

In its letter, NSBA also highlights some near-term fixes that would address costs, including:

  • End the employer mandate;
  • Eliminate onerous taxes like the Health Insurance Tax or Cadillac Tax which will disproportionately harm small business;
  • Maintain the employer deduction for health insurance to ensure an aging workforce isn’t a liability;
  • Expand health-related savings accounts to improve consumerism; and
  • Reform rating rules to give insurers more flexibility in pricing to ensure cost relief for small groups and the continued participation of younger, healthier individuals.

Please click here to read the full letter.