Tipton Raises Concerns on Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Small Businesses, Access to Care

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) raised concerns that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is having a negative impact on small businesses, and will decrease the availability of quality care. During a House Small Business Committee hearing Tipton identified compliance issues, increased premium costs, additional tax burdens, and changes to what constitutes a fulltime employee as issues that are worrying small businesses and hurting economic recovery.

VIDEO: Watch Tipton during the hearing.

“Last month, I spoke with a Pizza Hut franchise owner in my district. Nancy told me that the federal health care law has caused a variety of issues for her restaurants and employees. One of the biggest hindrances is the change that now classifies “full-time” work as averaging only 30 hours per week. She stated that because of this change alone they won’t be hiring anymore full-time employees and eventually will have to reduce some of their formerly “part-time” employees’ hours,” Tipton told the committee. “She described in detail a conversation with one of her employees who was in tears about the prospect of having those hours cut. Some of you may remember a time in this country when we fought to limit the workweek to 40 hours. Now people are fighting to get a 40 hour workweek. Because of the Affordable Care Act we continue to see that businesses are afraid to hire. We don’t know what the costs will be and we have yet to truly measure economic impacts across the board.”

The ACA has already added thousands of pages of regulation to the books, with more on the way.  However, there is very little guidance on compliance, leaving small business owners to wade through a confusing, incomplete and unclear bureaucratic mess and make best-guess decisions that could prove costly. This uncertainty is hampering economic growth and costing jobs.

At a hearing this morning, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that with regard to the ACA, "I just see a huge train wreck coming down. You and I have discussed this many times, and I don't see any results yet… Small businesses have no idea what to do, what to expect.”

More than 50 percent of small business owners nationwide say that health care costs and taxes are the top obstacles to job creation.[1]

Instead of increasing affordable access to care, the ACA is forcing small business owners to lay off employees, eliminate their employer-based health care plans, and redirect already tight resources toward compliance and additional costs, rather than maintaining and creating jobs. Additionally, the ACA further stretches the ability for providers to see patients and provide quality care, and is leading to an increased number of physicians that are opting out of seeing Medicare and Medicaid patients.

“My biggest concern as a small businessman is that there is a quantitative difference between everybody in the country having health insurance versus quality healthcare. I can tell you this as a matter of fact.  We are on the cusp of a rising health care crisis in rural America simply because of the Affordable Care Act,” Tipton said. “We’re seeing doctors drop out of the system. We’re not going to see that delivery. We can have all of the insurance in the world, but if there aren’t doctors there to accept it, we’re going to be hurting health care in America.”

#  #  #

[1] January, 2013 Gallup/Wells Fargo Small Business Index