The small business group NFIB is out with a new survey of its members today, and the results only confirm Obamacare’s ill effects on American job-creators. The survey of 750 small businesses of under 50 employees found that more than one in ten (11.7%) small businesses have already lost their current coverage – their insurer has either terminated their health insurance plan, or indicated that the firm’s current plan will not be available in the future.
Worse yet, the survey found that many small businesses may follow the guidance of a senior Administration official and look to “dump” their employees on to government-funded Exchanges. (Remember, the NFIB study surveyed only firms with under 50 employees – i.e., small businesses that would NOT pay the $2,000 per worker penalty for not offering coverage.) When asked if they would drop coverage “if a substantial share of employees now participating in your health plan became eligible for a significant government subsidy to pay for health insurance,” more than one-quarter of firms now offering coverage (25.9%) said they were very likely to drop, and another 31.5% said they were somewhat likely – for a total of more than 57% of firms who would consider dropping coverage.
Also of note in the NFIB survey are firms’ opinions about Obamacare’s effects on them and their businesses:
Higher Premiums: Only 2.3% strongly agree that the law will slow the rate of health insurance cost increases, compared to 43.9% who strongly disagree (Of particular note, candidate Obama repeatedly promised that he would CUT premiums in absolute terms by $2,500 per family – yet small business owners don’t even believe the law will slow the growth in premiums.)
Bad for America’s Health: Only 9.4% strongly agree that the law “will improve the overall health of the American public,” compared to 44.6% who strongly disagree;
Constitutional Infringement: Nearly two-thirds of firms (64.5%) agree that the law “will infringe on the rights of Americans,” with more than 45% strongly agreeing;
More Paperwork: A whopping 57.7% strongly disagree that the law “will reduce paperwork and make the provision of health care less complex” – with only a measly 1.8% strongly agreeing;
Higher Deficits: A majority (52.5%) strongly agree that the law will add to federal budget deficits, with only 2.4% strongly disagreeing;
Government Takeover: A majority strongly (40.7%) or somewhat (17.0%) believe the law “will lead to a government takeover of health care;”
Higher Taxes: A majority (55.8%) strongly agree that the law will raise taxes; only 1.5% strongly disagree.
The idea that Obamacare will encourage firms to dump their employees on to government-run Exchanges, raising the cost of taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies, is bad enough. (A Wall Street Journal editorial from this morning on this aspect of the NFIB study can be found here.) But the fact that, by their own accounts, Obamacare will have so many other ill effects – more paperwork, higher premiums, higher taxes, fewer liberties – on American job creators illustrates exactly why Obamacare is the wrong medicine for a still-troubled American economy.