American Health Care Act Failure Leaves Questions for Small Businesses
Last week, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) failed to garner enough votes in the House of Representatives, meaning the Affordable Care Act (ACA) instated by former President Obama remains intact. While some political figures (namely the ones on the left) were relieved, others lamented that certain policies included in the AHCA could have helped small business.
In an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times, Tom Scott, state executive director for the National Federation of Independent Business in California, noted that the biggest benefits of the would-be AHCA were its affordability, flexibility and predictability.
For small-business owners, the AHCA would have eliminated taxes associated with the ACA, including the "Cadillac Tax"—a 40 percent tax on plans with annual premiums of more than $10,800 for single people, or $29,500 for families. This tax would be paid by insurers. In the first draft of the AHCA, the Cadillac Tax remained intact.
Scott also brought up that the ACA, theoretically, would include the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) to allow small businesses to give employees options in purchasing insurance. In practice, however, not all states implemented the SHOP exchange.
The AHCA would have boosted health savings accounts (HSA), which would save small businesses health care expenses.
On the other hand, as we reported when the bill first was introduced, the AHCA would roll back the ACA's commitment to provide Medicaid coverage for what lawmakers referred to as "the expansion population,"—able-bodied, non-pregnant adults who qualified for the ACA based on income.
While the AHCA wouldn't automatically reduce coverage for these people, it would end the "enhanced federal Medicaid assistance percentage," i.e. when the government pays a majority of Medicaid costs.
It also would cut most of the revenue-generating aspects of hte ACA, such as the employer mandate to provide insurance, and the small-employer insurance tax credit.
What do you think? Do you think small businesses are better off with or without AHCA? Let us know in the comments.