Will repeal of the federal health care law hurt small businesses? A misleadingly simple question with a complex answer.
January 11, 2011
A recent PIRGIM report claims that repeal of the federal health care law would hurt small business owners. But the report is misleading because it simplistically presents outright repeal as the only option in the ongoing debate over health care reform.
Small Business Association of Michigan health care expert Scott Lyon says that although the association has not taken a position on outright repeal, he thinks it’s important that Congress focus on reforming the federal health care law with new provisions that address the underlying problem facing small business owners: health insurance is too expensive. “Health care costs are rising at three to four times the rate of inflation,” Lyon says. “There doesn’t appear to be anything in the federal health care law that slows down this trend.”
Lyon suggests that tort reform, greater use of electronic record keeping, encouragement of wellness programs and market-based tools such as Health Savings Accounts would be important steps toward controlling the rising cost of health insurance.
The PIRGIM report claims that repeal of the federal health care law would eliminate a variety of tax credits aimed at small businesses. In fact, very few Michigan small business owners qualify for the credits, according to Lyon.
Lyon recently appeared on WILX-TV10 to discuss health care reform.
The Small Business Association of Michigan has produced a Health Care Reform Guide for small business owners. You can find it here on the association’s Health Care Reform website.