Subcommittee Continues Review of Effects of the President’s Health Care Law on Small Businesses
WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today continued its review of the president’s health care law, examining challenges facing America’s businesses as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) gets closer to enrollment on October 1, 2013. While Americans and business owners alike were promised lower costs under the ACA, evidence shows that premiums continue to be on the rise. Additionally, two new reports issued by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) last week found that the administration’s implementation of the law is falling behind schedule.
“The costs and requirements of this law are forcing many businesses across the country to make difficult decisions, decisions that will impact the strength and growth of their companies, the wages of their workers, and their ability to hire new staff,” said Chairman Murphy.
Small business owners are currently struggling to provide health insurance to employees even before the law’s policies, mandates, taxes, and fees are fully implemented, according to Jeffrey S. Kelly, CEO of the Hamill Manufacturing Company. Kelly, whose Trafford, Pennsylvania-based firm employs 125, with employees owning 49 percent of the company, testified that, “Since the passage of the law in 2010, our health care premiums have risen 46 percent…. Because so many of our jobs are critical to our operation, we just can’t get rid of people if our healthcare costs continue to increase significantly. We will have to ask the employees to share more of the expense.” From April 2014 to April 2015, Kelly expects to pay $48,000 in additional fees resulting from the president’s health care law, with no change in the coverage Hamill offers its employees. Watch his explanation here.
Steve Lozinsky, Vice President of Sparkle and Shine Cleaning Services, Inc., in Apex, North Carolina, responded to questions from Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) about the prospect for company growth after learning that he has had to consider cutting employees hours down to 29 or fewer a week in order to avoid the costs and requirements of the ACA. He responded that this year “was the first year since we started that we haven’t grown, and that was pretty much our decision because we don’t know what the effects of this law [are]. We don’t want to hire more people and have to lay them off.” Watch their exchange here.
“Because of the costs of the law and its requirements, businesses will have to make gut wrenching decisions – whether they can keep the employees they have; whether they will have to let employees go or cut their hours; or whether they can continue offering health insurance altogether to their employees. These are not hypothetical issues. These are real questions businesses are facing right now,” added Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “In my home state of Michigan, a medical device manufacturer announced it would lay off over 1,000 employees from across its global workforce because of the Affordable Care Act. The health care law’s threat to job creators and job growth is real, and I worry similar announcements will soon be all too common.”
To view pictures from today’s hearing, click here.