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SBAM survey shows small businesses skeptical about value of federal health care reform law, hoping for Supreme Court overturn

June 8, 2012

As the nation awaits the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision later this month on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), an email survey of small business owners by SBAM finds widespread skepticism about the value of the Act to entrepreneurs and their employees.

• Seventy-six percent say Congress and the President overstepped their authority in passing the Act and 77 percent think the Supreme Court should rule the Act unconstitutional.
• Seventy-seven percent of respondents say they do not qualify for a tax credit that was touted as a key benefit for small businesses. Fourteen percent were not aware of the credit. Only 6 percent say their company took advantage of the credit.
• Seventy-two percent say employers should not be required to offer employee health plans (In 2014, the Act requires that companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer either “affordable” coverage or potentially be subject to a “free rider” penalty.)

“This survey clearly shows that small employers are skeptical about the merits and value of the Affordable Care Act,” says SBAM health insurance expert Scott Lyon. “But it’s important to note that regardless of how the court rules, Michigan and for that matter the rest of the country, still will have a health insurance cost problem. The cost of U.S. healthcare services is expected to rise 7.5 percent in 2013, more than three times the projected rates for U.S. inflation and economic growth.” (Lyon will be interviewed on SBAM’s Business Next audio seminar, available Monday, June 11 at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. at

SBAM’s suggestions for getting the cost of health insurance under control include:

• Common Electronic Standards/Interoperability, Electronic Medical Records and common claim forms for providers regardless of what insurance company or federal program is providing the insurance
• Providing comparative data on health costs, success rates, infection, morbidity and mortality rates inside facilities
• E-prescribing/Computer Physician Order Entry
• Reducing Waste Fraud and Abuse – and getting at it electronically
• Promoting Best Practices and/or Centers of Excellence for health care services and greatly reducing the rate of infection within our hospitals
• Pay for Performance – bonuses or withholds and stop paying for “never-events”

“Lastly, people need to take much better care of themselves, and prevention and wellness incentives need to be included for small businesses and individuals,” Lyon says. “In many ways, we are our own worst enemies. Obesity, tobacco use, the lack of exercise, etc. all add to the cost of care.”

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