Does Obamacare Create Uncertainty for Businesses?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

[Editor's Note: The Obamacare mandate requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide coverage for their workers or pay penalties will not begin to be enforced until 2015.]




PRO (yes)

Merchant Cash and Capital, a business financing company, stated in its Jan. 21, 2014 press release titled "Fear and Uncertainty around Obamacare Persist among Small Businesses Owners, According to Merchant Cash and Capital Survey," available at businesswire.com:

"[M]any small business owners are still struggling to understand and cope with the potential impact that the [Affordable Care] Act, known as Obamacare, will have on their business. This reality is shown in a recent survey of 553 small business (SMB) owners conducted by Merchant Cash and Capital...

The survey, conducted in November and December of 2013, uncovered a lack of understanding and deep sense of uncertainty and fear among SMB owners around the impact of Obamacare on their business in the coming year. Nearly 40 percent said they aren't sure how it will impact their business. One respondent from California said, 'Currently, it is just me and my husband, but I wanted to employ at least two more employees. Now I am not sure if I will be able to. I need more information on health care.'...

One in four respondents said they will halt any growth initiatives in the near future as a result of the Act. Also, one in five said that they will put new hiring on hold as they wrestle with increasing operational expenses."




Robert J. Lahm, Jr., PhD, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Western Carolina University, stated in his 2014 article titled "Small Business and Obamacare postponements and Rule Changes: 'Another Day, Another Delay,'" published in the Proceedings of the Academy of Entrepreneurship:

"The HealthCare.gov website that was to serve as a portal for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare) has subjected users to freezes, crashes, security risks, and other issues. Numerous provisions under the law have been altered or postponed. These include Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) enrollments for businesses with fewer than 50 FTE [full time equivalent] employees, and recently the employer mandate for businesses with 50 to 99 FTE employees.  Millions of individual policies have been cancelled and many more business policy cancellations are predicted to be on the way. The constitutionality and authority of the president to make so many changes through executive orders has been questioned. Uncertainties abound, as both individuals and businesses, including millions of non-employer firms that are still subject to penalties under the law, attempt to discern what may be next and how to respond."




Sam Graves, US Representative (R-MI), stated the following in his Oct. 31, 2013 letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, available at smallbusiness.house.gov:

"As Chairman of the Committee on Small Business, I continue to be disturbed by the numerous and ongoing problems, misinformation and delays associated with the implementation of the health care law. These issues have persisted for months, despite repeated official assurances from Administration officials that the implementation was on track. Small business owners who are subject to the law’s many mandates and face penalties and fines for noncompliance are perplexed, confused and sometimes unaware of what is expected of them. Each day seems to bring new challenges and a changing script…

The Administrations irresponsible pattern of misinformation, glitches and delays on the SHOPs [Small Business Health Options Program] has created additional confusion and uncertainty among our entrepreneurs."




Jeff Cox, Senior Writer for CNBC, wrote in his June 28, 2012 article "What Businesses Didn't Get from the Health-Care Ruling," available at www.cnbc.com:

"For American businesses, uncertainty over the health-care law is anything but over…

GOP candidate Mitt Romney vowed again Thursday to repeal the act if elected, while President Barack Obama said he would move forward in implementing it.

That means businesses will have a hard time budgeting for health-care costs and are likely to delay hiring even further...

U.S. corporations are sitting on more than $1.2 trillion in cash — $3.5 trillion counting the financial sector — that has not been deployed, in large part due to anxiety over health care."





CON (no)

Betsi Fores, Daily Caller reporter, stated in her July 29, 2012 article "Businesses Find Certainty After Health Care Ruling," available at www.dailycaller.com:

"The ruling on the Affordable Care Act may provide the stability and certainty businesses need to hire. With the veil of uncertainty lifted, businesses can move forward with planning, and take steps needed to comply with the law, and potentially hire new workers...

With the ruling from the Supreme Court in place, businesses have a much better picture of future costs and regulatory burdens they will endure. With a more certain landscape of the future, business can make a better assessment of cost and regulatory burdens imposed by the health care law."