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Small Businesses Support ACA Over Replacement Plan

Publisher: 
Small Business Majority
Date: 
Thursday, 23 March, 2017

Some lawmakers may be intent on repealing and replacing the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA), but new scientific opinion polling shows small business owners support the ACA over the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican plan to replace the law currently being considered in Congress.

A national scientific opinion poll conducted March 17-20, 2017 for Small Business Majority by Chesapeake Beach Consulting found that small businesses favor the ACA over the AHCA by a 2:1 ratio. Roughly half of respondents (49%) say they would choose the ACA over the AHCA, while only 25% said they would choose the replacement plan over current law. Fourteen percent said they would choose neither plan. 

Small businesses favor the ACA over the AHCA by a 2:1 ratio

If you had to make a choice between the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the American Health Care Act, which plan would you choose?

More than half of small businesses (52%) support the Affordable Care Act, and half of those who support it say they strongly support the law. After learning about specific provisions of the ACA, however, total support grows to 58%

Support for ACA grows after learning about provisions of the law

Now that you have had time to review specific provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, do you support or oppose of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?

What’s more, the survey found more than 1 in 3 small businesses or their employees (35%) are enrolled in coverage through the health marketplaces created by the ACA, and 21% are enrolled in Medicaid. One in five say they are enrolled in private insurance.

When asked about the proposed American Health Care Act, legislation that would repeal and replace the ACA, small business support is initially split: 40% of respondents support the legislation, with 39% opposing it. However, once respondents learn about specific provisions of the AHCA, opposition grows to 51%, with 1 in 3 (33%) who strongly oppose the legislation.

Opposition to AHCA grows after learning about provisions of the law

Now that you have had time to review specific provisions of the American Health Care Act, do you support or oppose of the American Health Care Act, which repeals and replaces the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?

Survey respondents reviewed numerous provisions of the replacement plan, and results show small businesses oppose key components of the legislation. A majority (51%) disapprove of a provision that would remove the individual mandate and allow insurers to impose a 30% surcharge on individuals who allow a gap to develop between their existing health plan and a new health plan. And half (50%) disapprove of replacing existing healthcare tax credits based on age, income and geography with tax credits based solely on a person’s age and not their income or where they live.

The only specifics of the plan that small businesses do support are provisions already available under the ACA, including provisions that prevent insurance companies for charging more for pre-existing conditions and that allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.

It’s important to note that respondents are politically diverse, and do not necessarily view these issues through an ideological lens: 40% identify as Republican or Republican-leaning independents, 39% are Democrat or Democrat-leaning independents and 18%are pure independent. 

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