The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) - also known as ObamaCare - has the small business world divided.
According to the Washington Post, a recent Small Business Majority survey indicated that about half of all small business owners support the decision to uphold the bill. However, a survey conducted by Forbes suggested 78 percent of responding business owners oppose it.
In a nutshell, PPACA requires that by 2014, all businesses with 50 or more employees must provide health care benefits that are deemed affordable under the law. According to the Associated Press, "to be considered affordable, the insurance must pay for at least 60 percent of covered health care expenses, and employees may not be forced to pay more than 9.5 percent of their family income [before deductions and adjustments] for coverage offered by employers."
Those who don't offer their employees health benefits are subject to penalties that could cost them thousands of dollars per employee.
According to Crain's New York Business, many firms view PPACA as a law that will present them with quite a few small business challenges, including premium hikes and rules that make following the law difficult.
"A lot of things can take away choices and add to the cost for small business when the law is fully implemented," National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) president Dan Danner said in a conference call with reporters, according to Crain's.
The NFIB was one of the most vocal opponents of the bill and has vowed to continue to fight to have it repealed.
"Under PPACA, small-business owners are going to face an onslaught of taxes and mandates, resulting in job loss and closed businesses," Danner said in a news release. "We will continue to fight for the repeal of PPACA in the halls of Congress; only with PPACA’s full repeal will Congress have the ability to go back to the drawing board to craft real reform that makes reducing costs a number one priority. The power and control of health-care decisions should be in the hands of the consumer, not the government."
On the other hand, some small business owners view PPACA as a positive occurrence for them, saying it will lower premiums and allow them to reinvest their savings back into their businesses as well as hire more employees.
"Our economy depends on the mom-and-pop shops lining the Main Streets of America," John Arensmeyer, founder of Small Business Majority, recently wrote in the Washington Post. "Now we’re one step closer to giving more would-be entrepreneurs the chance to follow their dreams of owning a business, without worrying about how to get health insurance."