Small Business Entrepreneurship Committee Holds Hearing on Affordable Care Act Implementation

Recently, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on the Affordable Care Act called “Affordable Care Act Implementation: Examining How to Achieve a Successful Rollout of the Small Business Exchanges.”

The hearing witnesses included David Allen, president and CEO of David Allen Enterprises LLC; Sheila A. Salter, founder and CEO of early2surg; Connie Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity; Drew Greenblatt, owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products; Martin Hickey, M.D., CEO of the New Mexico Health Connections; Mila Kofman, executive director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority; William Nold, deputy executive director at the Office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange; The Honorable Phyllis C. Borzi, assistant secretary of Employee Benefits Security Administration; Gary Cohen, deputy administrator and director at the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; and Marianne O’Brien Markowitz, regional administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration. Salter voiced concerns with the Affordable Care Act’s effects on her small business:

“How has Obamacare affected my business? It has a huge snowball effect. My plans to establish, grow and expand are minimized and delayed. In addition, my potential clients face the same impact. They may delay contracting my services so they can pay their healthcare premiums.”

Allen also voiced concerns about the negative effects of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses, specifically his business:

“It’s been increasingly hard for me to continue to provide health insurance for my employees. Second only to payroll, health insurance is our next largest expense. Even with annual inflation rates in the 1 to 2 percent range, our premiums have increased every year by 20 percent or more. As much as I wish I could simply pass this along to my customers, they too are experiencing the same pressures to manage rising expenses in their small businesses.”

According to O’Brien Markowitz, the U.S. Small Business Administration plans to assist small businesses in the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act:

“As the Affordable Care Act continues to be implemented, SBA is committed to leveraging our resources and federal partnerships with the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, and others to ensure that small business owners have the facts and resources they need to understand and benefit from the law.” – Kaitlyn Dwyer