Weeks ago I noted that employees of small business, which may be classified as such but which can employ a lot of folks, were starting to receive notices that their insurance did not meet the new requirements of Obamacare and were being cancelled. Some seemed shocked to hear that this was the case, but I knew this firsthand because an entity to which I belong was one of the early victims.
This caused me to wonder, “Who was looking out for small businesses when this monster bill was passed?” The answer is likely “nobody.”
Recent news stories have highlighted just how disastrous the Affordable Care Act is for small businesses and the “middle class” President Obama wooed in the ’12 election. Townhall.com Senior Political Editor Guy Benson provided folks a more comprehensive glimpse into the future for small businesses in a recent report that included a poll from the AP in which more than half of respondents said that the ACA had already impacted their 2014 health care coverage, most of which included rising premiums.
The report went on to examine instances of health care nightmares in numerous states and added the fact that the small business exchange, allegedly the panacea for this chaos, has been delayed another year.
This leads back to the greater issue of the clout, or lack thereof, of small business advocacy groups and alleged friends in Washington. To quote the late Rodney Dangerfield, small business “gets no respect.”
So let’s see, the airlines have managed to slim down to just a handful of major carriers. The banks, who we are made to believe have been punished by Obama, got bailouts and actually have pushed their expenses to their poor depositors who can’t get squat in interest. Phone companies have merged and purged, and cable providers want to find a way to have as few choices for consumers as possible.
As a result, big businesses just keep on getting bigger and their power with politicians continues to rise. Left behind are the hundreds of thousands of smaller businesses that scrap and fight to stay in business and keep their employees employed.
If the Republican Party wants to know why they keep losing presidential elections, they need look no further than to the beaten down, small business owners and employees who have been less than enthused by the grouchy and D.C.-entrenched John McCain or the silken and sashed Mitt Romney, both of whom seemed to have all the real fire and fight of an attendee at a high-end art auction.
It was one thing to be muscled by the Democrats into accepting a bill that Nancy Pelosi clearly stated we would have to read after it passed. But to enter 2014 with people scared to death about their health care and businesses scrambling without an absolute outcry from “advocates” for the average soul is unpardonable.
We know that when large corporate interests dial in to speak with leaders in Washington, they get their calls returned and meetings scheduled. Heck, so many of them have been exempted from the major requirements of Obamacare.
But when the disparate and poorly represented local insurance agency, or independently owned store, or any other run-of-the-mill, small company calls an elected official, much less their poor employees attempting to communicate with the high and mighty, the best they will probably get, if lucky, is some snot-nosed twenty-something congressional staffer who will pat them on the head and send them on their way. That’s the same kid who couldn’t run a three-man business if he or she tried.
The stories of 60-year-old women having their insurance not renewed because it fails to provide for pregnancy benefits as required under the ACA are true.
But what is also true is that, in 2014, the impact of this whacky bill on small businesses will be the talk of the nation.
And small business owners and their employees will be the victims that everyone will be talking about.
Matt Towery is author of the book “Paranoid Nation: The Real Story of the 2008 Fight for the Presidency.” He heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage.