This morning, Main Street Alliance — a national network of small business coalitions working to build a new voice for small businesses on important public policy issues — issued a statement seeking clarity on what the incoming Trump administration plans to do with healthcare.
As for the announcement, it is as follows:
The health care industry, our nation’s largest private sector industry and employer, makes up more than 17 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The US health care industry has grown accustomed to the post-Affordable Care Act (ACA) business climate and faces uncertainty heading into a Trump Administration–one that has vowed to repeal the ACA as early as day one and provide a replacement at a later date. That uncertainty is shared by the small business owners on Main Street and could have a wide-ranging impact on the economy as a whole.
“We’re concerned with Mr. Trump’s promise to repeal the ACA and the absence of a coherent replacement plan,” said ReShonda Young, the owner of Popcorn Heaven in Waterloo, IA, and Main Street Alliance Executive Committee Member. “If there is another approach that will increase coverage for my employees and neighbors and reduce costs then I’m all ears. But Main Street can’t be expected to take a “wait-and-see” approach when our ability to create jobs and our bottom line is in flux.”
22 million American consumers, employees, and small business customers could lose access to the subsidies and tax breaks that make their health coverage affordable and risk losing their coverage outright. That is nearly 10% of the working-age population that would face new and unexpected health care costs, accounting for sizeable losses in revenue at the shops and restaurants on Main Street.
“Effectively providing access to health coverage for my employees and community members has never been about taking the credit for doing so,” said David Borris, the owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Chicago and Main Street Alliance Executive Committee Member. “If the next President wants to call the plan “Trumpcare” that is fine by me, so long as the plan does what it’s supposed to do–control costs and increase access.”
Running a small business is about taking calculated risks, assessing the demand for products and services and growing responsibly. To serve one of Main Street’s chief economic functions, job creation, small business owners must operate in a climate of reasonable certainty. Repeal of the ACA, without a well-designed and measured replacement plan, is reckless and puts the financial solvency of small businesses and our customers at risk.
“A repeal of the Affordable Care Act without an immediate replacement will send the health care industry in a tailspin, the effects of which you can bet will be felt on Main Street,” said Kelly Conklin, the owner of Foley-Waite, LLC in Kenilworth, NJ, and Main Street Alliance Executive Committee Member. “If the President-Elect repeals the ACA without a replacement insurance providers will build a sizeable cushion into premium payments to account for the market uncertainty, and they could refuse to renew group policies like mine altogether. Leaving millions of Americans, some of my customers and employees, priced out of the health insurance market.”
Concerned that we may end up with the “Unaffordable Care Act,” Main Street small business owners join top economists and CEOs in demanding Congress and the incoming Administration halt their repeal of the ACA until they’ve developed and publically vetted a replacement plan.