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Small Business Owners’ Opinions—Entrepreneurs Oppose Supreme Court Case Attempting to Overturn Healthcare Reform Law


March 28, 2012

WHO: Small business owners across the country available to comment on the Supreme Court case arguments being held this week on the healthcare reform law. Small business owners in support of the law, including a 36-year member of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), an organization that is one of the plaintiffs in the suit, are available to comment via phone or in-person (where possible), throughout the week.
AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS: How the Affordable Care Act has benefitted small business owners and what the consequences of overturning the law would be.
TO REQUEST AN INTERVIEW: Contact Erin Musgrave, Communications Director at Small Business Majority: (831) 477-0453; emusgrave@smallbusinessmajority.org
“The law, while certainly not perfect, includes a number of provisions that will help small businesses gain access to more affordable coverage, which makes their businesses more competitive and boosts their ability to create jobs and drive economic growth. The best way to serve small business owners is to help them understand, participate in and benefit from the broad changes that are already underway, not tear down the policies aimed at helping them.”
John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority
“Despite everything I’ve heard said about the Affordable Care Act, what I’ve never heard anyone argue about is the tremendous problem healthcare has been and continues to be for small businesses. The costs have been crushing us. If nothing was done about healthcare costs we’d either have to cut benefits or lay some of our employees off—neither of which we want to do. The fact of the matter is the new law has already started helping us. Overturning the law now wouldn’t help us, it would hurt us. We want the law fully implemented and even strengthened. Only then will we get some relief.”
Mike Roach, co-owner of Paloma Clothing in Portland, Ore., and a 36-year member of the NFIB
“Before healthcare reform passed, I faced the very demoralizing decision to either drop my business's health plan or lay off employees to contain costs. But we've received tax credits through the Affordable Care Act, which took that decision off the table. We're able to afford our insurance and have not had to lay off any of our valued employees. Overturning the law would send us back to dealing with those kinds of choices, and that's not somewhere I want to be."
Betsy Burton, owner of the King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah
"When I heard about the new healthcare law, I was relieved that something was finally being done to help entrepreneurs like me. In 2010, I got more than $2,200 back just for offering insurance to my deserving employees. That’s the first good news surrounding health coverage that I’ve had in a long time. And this year I was able to claim even more through the credits. That's money I can use to provide for my family or grow my business, and it is definitely not something I want taken away."
Ron Nelsen, owner of Pioneer Overhead Door in Las Vegas, Nev.
“Small business owners need help now, and the place to start is by fixing our broken healthcare system. If we can stop the bleeding caused by rising costs, the result will be a direct economic stimulus to the bottom line for Oregon businesses. Continuing with the status quo was not acceptable. The Affordable Care Act--particularly the health insurance exchanges--will give small businesses some relief and help boost our economy overall. We need this law implemented if we want our small businesses and our economy to thrive."
Christine Chin Ryan, President of Synergy Consulting Inc., in Portland, Ore.
“Our premiums have done nothing by rise since we started offering insurance. When the state health insurance exchange kicks in in 2014, we should finally see some relief. If the law were overturned and that option was taken off the table it would be devastating. Small businesses don't have access to better pricing, but as long as the law is fully implemented that problem could disappear in 2014. The law is a great first step and needs to be upheld."
Liz Parker, owner of Tulsa Rib Co. in Orange, Calif.
“Since being dropped from my mother's insurance at the age of 21, I have not had health insurance. I started my business more than 6 years ago and had not been able to afford health insurance for myself let alone my employees. I finally was able to purchase insurance through a state subsidy program, which was huge. Knowing we’re covered if something happens has an enormous impact on morale and my employees’ physical and emotional well being. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I will also receive tax credits that will help me better afford insurance and possibly grow my business. Overturning the law would be devastating to my business.”
Jamal Lee, owner of Breasia Studios, LLC in Laurel, Md.
"Anyone opposing the new law obviously does not understand small businesses. Small businesses could not afford the system under the status quo. Healthcare reform was needed to help bring down costs and level the playing field with large businesses. Our insurance premiums are 18 percent higher than what large businesses pay. The Affordable Care Act will help change that. The law must be upheld."
Ken Weinstein, owner of Trolley Car Diner in Philadelphia, Pa.
"As a long-time small business owner, I’ve experienced a number of huge rate increases to our policy. Several years ago I was quoted a 130 percent increase. But since the passage of healthcare reform, I’ve already seen savings that I’ve been able to reinvest in my business. Last year while shopping for a new policy last year, my carrier informed me that under the Affordable Care Act’s Medical Loss Ratio requirement, insurance companies are now required to spend at least 80 percent of small groups’ premium dollars on patient care, and we ended up seeing only a 4 percent increase. This was by far the lowest increase we’d experienced in 10 years. Without these provisions, health insurance would be out of our grasp, which is unacceptable." 
Walt Rowen, owner of Susquehanna Glass Co., in Columbia, Pa.
"Offering health insurance to my employees is critical--it helps me keep and retain good people. But over the years the premiums have tripled and it's getting harder and harder to offer benefits. But the Affordable Care Act will change that. In 2014, I’ll be able to join Maryland’s health insurance exchange—and because I’ll be in with thousands of other small businesses in the state, our collective bargaining power will help lower the cost of plans. It will make it easier for someone like me to get insurance by cutting down on the hassles surrounding administering benefits to my employees and lowering the prices. That’s what I need. What I don't need is to go back to the status quo and watch my premiums climb higher and higher until I can't afford to offer insurance at all."
Mike Brey, owner of Hobby Works in Laurel, Md.
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