While a number of politicians and pundits have presumed to speak on behalf of the nation's small business when it comes to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often dubbed in the press “Obamacare”), the small businesses have decided to speak for themselves...to the Supreme Court. And they're not saying what many of the politicians and pundits would like them to say.
Two national small business advocacy groups, Small Business Majority and Main Street Alliance, have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. The amicus brief presents a small business case for upholding the federal healthcare law, which has been challenged in court for its legality and constitutionality, on behalf of the country’s 28 million small businesses, who say they will benefit immensely from the Act.
“We want to ensure the Supreme Court knows the Affordable Care Act includes a number of provisions that will help small businesses obtain more affordable health insurance,” said John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, in a press release. “The best way to serve small business owners is to help them understand, participate in and benefit from the changes already underway, not tear down policies aimed at helping them.”
Small business supporters of the Act point out that it will help them with small business tax credits, state health insurance exchanges, minimum medical loss ratio requirement and other provisions that offer small businesses some relief from the costs that are hindering their growth and success.
“The Affordable Care Act does a lot to help small businesses,” said Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, Oregon and Main Street Alliance steering committee member. “It gives us more bargaining power, it holds insurers accountable, and it makes sure everyone is pitching in. This court challenge threatens to take all that away. There are plenty of ways to move forward on making healthcare work for small businesses – throwing out the ACA and forcing us back into the same broken healthcare system we were stuck with before is not one of them.”
A majority of U.S. states, and numerous organizations and individual persons, have filed actions in federal court challenging the constitutionality of PPACA, which was passed in 2010. As of October 2011, the constitutionality of PPACA has been upheld by three out of four federal appellate courts, with the fourth declaring that the law's individual mandate to buy health insurance (and that mandate alone) as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has agreed to review the lawsuits, and has scheduled over five hours for oral arguments on the matter in March of this year.
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Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for HealthTechZone. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell