While policymakers debate the future of health care in D.C., we surveyed 3,576 small business professionals in 44 states across the country to understand how the American small business community feels about the Affordable Care Act and the Republican plans that might replace it.
We asked small business owners from across the political spectrum (32% self-identify as a Democrats, 36% as Independents, and 31% as Republicans) about their views on the GOP’s approach to health care broadly, specific provisions within the plan, and how they think if would affect them. We also asked their views on the ACA.
Here are the key takeaways, with charts:
Slimmer Health Plans
43% of respondents disapprove of allowing states to let health insurance companies cut back on the benefits they cover so they can sell cheaper plans that do not cover essential benefits. Just 18% of survey respondents would approve of this reform.
Continuous Coverage Penalty
47% of respondents disapprove of allowing states to decide if insurance companies can charge sick people more than healthy people if they haven’t had continuous coverage.
ACA Higher Income Taxes
While 71% of Democrats disapprove of eliminating taxes and tax increases on higher income imposed by the ACA, 44% of Republicans approve of such a provision.
Quality of Care
About 32% don’t know whether the quality of their health plan will change at all if Congress passes a version of the GOP health bill.
71% of Democrats disapprove of a reform that cuts ACA federal funding for states with expanded Medicaid, while 48% of Republicans approve of such benefits.
Rising Cost of Care
Nearly 62% of Democrats expect their healthcare costs would increase under the AHCA, while only 11% of Republicans anticipate that costs would rise.
Access to Care
Nearly 55% of Democrats are somewhat or very concerned about losing their coverage. On the other hand, nearly 52% of Independents and 77% of Republicans are relatively unconcerned about losing coverage.
Update: June 30, 2017
President Trump tweeted that “If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!” However, doing so would likely affect many small business owners. Data from our monthly surveys show that 20% consistently report that they would be “very concerned” that such action could lead to their loss of insurance coverage. Roughly another 13% say that they’re at least “somewhat concerned” about such a scenario.
About the Thumbtack Economic Sentiment Survey
Every month, the Thumbtack Economic Sentiment Survey captures the attitudes and perspectives of thousands of business owners from across the country to gauge how they are feeling about the economy and their businesses. Now in its fifth year, this survey provides a unique vantage point on the economy, as respondents are largely mobile service professionals with five or fewer employees who operate across the United States. Because they are hard to reach, these professionals are frequently overlooked in other surveys of small businesses.