Obamacare is very unpopular with Americans.
A recent CBS poll showed Obamacare is unfavorable by 54% to 36%; a September UConn survey reported 53% to 38% unfavorable to favorable; and CNN just reported Americans disapprove of Obamacare by 57% to 39%.
But this is general population research. What about small business owners?
When the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council asked their members this question, “Will Obamacare make health insurance more affordable?,” 69% said no. In our online polls this year, 78% of small business owners think the law should be repealed, and 93% do not want to change from their current plan to Obamacare.
So why is Obamacare so unpopular, especially out here on Main Street? Well, it’s a mixed bag, but a lot of it is fear.
Even though Obamacare won’t go into effect until 2014 for individuals and 2015 for employers, it’s already costing small businesses regardless of the number of employees they have. For example: Health insurance carriers have started raising premiums to small businesses in anticipation of expensive Obamacare mandates, like guaranteed insurability.
Successful business owners, especially those with passive income, like rent, could be subject to a 3.8% “health care surtax” on income beginning in 2013, which along with other Obamacare taxes, will be collected before the law goes into effect. Small business owners don’t understand charging for something not yet delivered.
And any small business with $500,000 in sales and at least one employee may be fined if they don’t give notice about the existence of an Obamacare Exchange “in writing, no later than October 1, 2013, including a description of services provided, and the manner in which the employee may contact the Exchange to request assistance” (DOL.gov). Two weeks before this deadline, we asked our small business audience if they knew about the notice requirement: 32% said yes, 68% said no. It’s still unclear if the fine will be imposed in 2013
Small business owners don’t like what they know about Obamacare, and this is one example of why they’re afraid of what they don’t know.
Write this on a rock …For small business owners—and most other Americans—Obamacare is the devil we don’t want to know.
Jim Blasingame is one of the world's leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He is the creator and award-winning host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Small Business Advocate® Show. In addition to his weekly columns, Jim is the author of two books; Small Business is like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success.