GOP Bill 'Would Repeal the Most Punishing Elements of Obamacare,' Small Business Owners Say

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | March 15, 2017 | 12:27 PM EDT

GOP bill to replace Obamacare.

“The American Health Care Act would repeal the most punishing elements of Obamacare,” the head of a 325,000-member group of small business owners declared Tuesday after the organization sent Congress a letter of support for the bill.

In her statement, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) President Juanita D. Duggan attributed a recent surge in members’ optimism to hopes the current health care law would be replaced – and said the GOP’s bill would end "massive tax increases and mandates" that are hurting consumers, businesses and job-seekers:

“Small business optimism has soared since November because small business owners anticipate a change in policies. Driving that optimism is the expectation that Congress will repeal Obamacare, which has been devastating to small businesses.

“The American Health Care Act would repeal the most punishing elements of Obamacare, including the massive tax increases and mandates that have increased costs, limited choices, and smothered job creation.”

Duggan called on “every members of Congress who cares about small business” to support the new health care bill:

“This will be a key vote for NFIB. Our members will pay very close attention. Every member of Congress who cares about small business should vote for this measure. There’s a lot more work to be done in order to make the health care system affordable, flexible, and predictable, but the American Health Care Act is a necessary first step.”

NFIB sent a letter to members of Congress Monday telling them that the American Health Care Act will be a key vote. NFIB was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, NFIB vs. Sebelius. The focus of its case was the individual mandate, which the American Health Care Act would repeal.

According to NFIB research, the high cost of health care has been identified by small business owners as their top concern for the past 30 years.

In her letter to members of Congress, Duggan said, to ensure future business growth and job creation, Duggan says “Congress must end the stifling taxes and mandate penalties of Obamacare.” The GOP bill is a vital first step, which should be followed by tax reform.

NFIB’s full letter to members of Congress is presented below.

Dear Representative: 

To get the small business economy moving again, Congress must focus on two key obstacles currently holding back small business economic growth – repealing and replacing Obamacare and reforming the tax code to provide small business rate parity.  The House of Representatives can take a significant first step toward removing these obstacles by passing the American Health Care Act and ending the Obamacare taxes and mandate penalties on small business. 

NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends survey has shown huge increases in optimism for the small business economy since the November elections.  The reading has been at its highest level since before the recession, but those readings currently represent hope and optimism, not real growth and hiring.  To translate the optimism of small business owners into growth and job creation, Congress must end the stifling taxes and mandate penalties of Obamacare.  It is important to understand that repealing Obamacare’s taxes must go hand-inhand with tax reform, specifically parity in tax rates for small businesses versus large corporations.

The American Health Care Act is a necessary step to providing important health care relief for small business.  While the bill does not sufficiently address all the reforms that must occur, we fully understand that many small business health care priorities must wait until after the reconciliation process is complete.  NFIB looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to provide more health insurance choices and reducing health insurance costs for small businesses.  It is imperative that Congress first pass the American Health Care Act.   

Small business has long supported repealing and replacing Obamacare.  NFIB opposed the bill when it passed, and challenged the law’s constitutionality before the Supreme Court in NFIB v. Sebelius.  Small businesses want an economic environment where they can grow and hire again, and that process must start with ending the Obamacare taxes and mandate penalties.  Passage of the American Health Care Act will be considered an NFIB Key Vote for the 115th Congress. 


Juanita D. Duggan President & CEO NFIB

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