Government
10:25 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Small business federation ‘disappointed’ in ruling

The Supreme Court’s decision today upholding the controversial Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate is a deep disappointment to small businesses everywhere, the head of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said today.

 “While we are certainly disappointed, NFIB respects the decision to uphold the individual mandate by the Supreme Court,” said Dan Danner, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. “Clearly this mandate has now become a tax on all Americans and a broken campaign promise from President Obama not to raise taxes.

“We are concerned about the precedent that this will set in Congress’ ability to mandate other aspects of our lives, but we will move forward from today to continue to fight, harder than ever, for real health-care reform for our membership.”

Illinois NFIB State Director Kim Clarke Maisch said the ruling guarantees that Illinois residents will have their most personal health care decisions made by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington and in other states whom they’ve never met and whom they’ll have a hard time influencing in the future.

“The tragedy in this ruling is that Illinois residents are now at the mercy of politicians from other states and bureaucrats in Washington whose decisions won’t be based on what is best for Illinois,” said Maisch.  “Small businesses here will be overwhelmed by mandates, taxes and burdens imposed on them by people whom we cannot as easily hold accountable.”

“We believe strongly that Obamacare did nothing to decrease the cost of health insurance,” Maisch told WNIJ News. “They are simply shifting the cost onto small employers and individuals.”

Maisch says the organization is worried that insurance companies will drive up their rates ahead of the law's full implementation in 2014.

Danner said small-business owners are going to face “an onslaught of taxes and mandates, resulting in job loss and closed businesses.” He said his organization will continue to fight for the repeal of PPACA.

“Only with PPACA’s full repeal will Congress have the ability to go back to the drawing board to craft real reform that makes reducing costs a number one priority,” Danner said. “The power and control of health-care decisions should be in the hands of the consumer, not the government.”

Dr. James Ciesla, a health care economist at Northern Illinois University, says the law's requirements put more pressure on small businesses. But he says that, depending on how a health-insurance exchange is established in Illinois, the law has the potential to bring some relief to companies as they comply with the law.

Ciesla said the Illinois Hospital Association estimates between 1.3 and 1.7 million people are uninsured, “so this ruling most directly affects those people.”

“With the individual mandate being upheld,” Ciesla added, “I’m guessing – and others in the research community – that most of those people, probably 800,000 or so, will indeed be covered by the health insurance requirement.”