For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Small Businesses Oppose Senate Vote on Health Care

WASHINGTON - Small business owners and small business groups across the country staunchly oppose the Senate’s Motion to Proceed today on health care legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This morning, more than one thousand small business owners delivered a letter to Congress, urging Senators to protect the health care gains they made under the ACA.

Senate Republicans have put forward several versions of their bill, including a repeal of the Affordable Care Act without replacement, yet none of the options of the table serve to improve the quality, cost, or coverage of health care for small businesses or their employees. In fact, every version of this bill poses a grave threat to the health care of tens of millions of people and the economy - decimating Medicaid’s budget, destabilizing the private market, and throwing no fewer than 22 million people off insurance. [See: June 30, 2017 Small Business Fact Sheet]

The Main Street Alliance and its allies urge the Senate to stop the Motion to Proceed on reckless legislation that will once again make it difficult for small business owners and their employees to afford high quality health care.

“Senate Republican leadership is gutting our healthcare system in order to give tax breaks to the very wealthy and drug and insurance companies. This is a move that will hurt millions of people and drive up costs for small business owners. Americans do not want this bill, and neither do America's small business owners.” -- Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of Main Street Alliance.

“Senate Republicans have had a difficult time mustering support to pass a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and with good reason. These bills hurt small business owners, entrepreneurs and the economy. Congress should now stop the political games, and work together to find bipartisan solutions that will improve upon the successes of the existing law.” -- Rhett Buttle, founder of Public Private Strategies and former director of private sector engagement in the Office of the HHS Secretary.

“If Congress truly cared about American business, it would tackle the high administrative costs and high drug prices that undermine our economy and hamper the international competitiveness of our businesses. Congress should not be playing politics with our healthcare system. Instead we need comprehensive reform with best business practices such as lean production, and processes that are transparent, evidence-based and priced as a function of measurable value.” -- David Levine, Co-founder and CEO, American Sustainable Business Council.

"For the good of America's small businesses, the U.S. Senate must immediately stop its efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. None of the healthcare proposals offered by congressional Republicans thus far will do anything but hurt small firms. In fact, their proposals will make health insurance less accessible for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs by driving up premiums, scaling back tax credits and Medicaid expansion and limiting protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Instead of continuing to tinker with a plan that cannot be fixed with minor adjustments, lawmakers should craft a bipartisan solution that focuses on improving the ACA because it is already working for America’s job creators.” -- John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO, Small Business Majority.

“If the Senate proceeds to debate healthcare reform, they will vote to have either 32, 22 or 15 million Americans lose their health insurance.  Deductibles would soar by thousands of dollars. The end result of all proposals would be an economic disaster for the nation and small businesses.” -- Frank Knapp Jr., President & CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.  

“With all of the talk today in Washington, D.C. about how to address the future of healthcare in the United States, it is clear that there are no easy answers. But let's start with at least this: small businesses and motivated entrepreneurs looking to pursue the American Dream cannot afford to go back to the days before the ACA. One of the great strengths of the American economy is its national backbone of small businesses. Small businesses who desperately need Washington to put policy before politics.  If we choose to work together on fixes, and not succumb to the partisan politics that calls for moving backward instead of forward, we can continue on the path to making America's health care system the envy of the world. Our small businesses deserve nothing less.” -- David Borris, owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Illinois, and Main Street Alliance Executive Committee member.


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“The Affordable Care Act is the first real attempt to bring some order and consistency to our approach to delivery of health care in the United States. It didn’t address every challenge but there is no question that for millions of Americans and small business owners the ACA has been an important improvement in their lives. The Republican plans are not only cruel and amoral they are an economic travesty that will drive up cost, deny timely care, put lives at risk and draw trillions out of the general economy to prop up an inefficient and cumbersome patch work of health care delivery. This is simple- we cannot afford to move backwards. We need the Senate to reject the motion to proceed.” -- Kelly Conklin, owner of Foley-Waite Associates in New Jersey and Main Street Alliance Executive Committee member.

"Affordable health care is critical to the well being of Vermonters and the health of our local economies. I was encouraged to see Governor Phil Scott stand with our congressional delegation in opposition to recent attempts by the Republicans in Washington to dismantle the ACA and slash Medicaid. The bipartisanship in our state sends a clear message. I urge all of Vermont's elected officials to continue to stand together to protect the progress that has been made and build a healthy future for our state.” -- Jen Kimmich, Owner of The Alchemist in Stowe, Vermont, and Main Street Alliance Vermont Board Chair.

“The ACA afforded Zootility another way to be risk averse. Instead committing to health plans that all of our employees would be satisfied with and committing to an amount that we cover for all of our employees, we could roll our total compensation into pure salary. This affords us the flexibility to reward the best performing employees differently than across the board. When considering replacing the ACA, legislators should be considering how the result will impact makers and startups as these are the engines of the change that American’s are truly hungry for.” -- Nate Barr, owner of Zootility in Maine, and Maine Small Business Coalition member.

“As a small businessperson, my family and most of my employees are dependent on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), so I have a hard time understanding the controversy. Keeping the ACA in place puts Pennsylvania’s businesses and customers in the best place to succeed. Not without its flaws, it’s the best approach to a market dominated by powerful drug manufacturers and healthcare providers with a storied history of putting profits before patients.” -- Michael Row, owner of Penn Book Center in Philadelphia, Main Street Alliance member.

“Fulfillment in my career was an intangible dream I never thought I would achieve. The monotony of the daily routine of clocking in and out of a job I didn't enjoy for the sole purpose of providing health benefits for myself and my children was beginning to wear me down and take away my joie de vivre. After the Affordable Care Act was signed into law I able to take a chance and become a small business owner without fear of financial ruin due to a medical catastrophe. The security of having medical benefits for my family and I gave me the opportunity to become the business woman I had always dreamed of -- don’t take that away from us.” -- Amber Tamayo owner of High Ridge Construction Oregon, and Main Street Alliance member. 

“I’m lucky to be afforded the ability to work at building a business around my passions, however, it came at the cost of my husband’s dreams. Before the Affordable Care Act, he had to give up his small business to work for the public school system so that we could afford the insurance coverage that our growing family needed. Now my daughter is a budding entrepreneur and I don’t want to see her sacrifice her dreams in order to have the health care that every human deserves. I want to see us strengthen the ACA -- not repeal it.” -- Martha Ehlman owner of Tenfold Fair Trade in West Virginia and Main Street Alliance member

“As someone who suffers from chronic pain, I’m only able to work because I can get treatment for my illness through Medicaid. If this coverage were taken from me, I definitely wouldn’t be able to work or have my own business, and I would probably be on disability.” -- Tim Foster, owner of Patriotic Motors in Spokane, Washington, and Main Street Alliance member.


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Main Street Alliance is a national network of small business coalitions working to build a new voice for small businesses on important public policy issues. Alliance small business owners share a vision of public policies that work for business owners, our employees, and the communities we serve.

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