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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Ruling is a Major Blow to Entrepreneurship, Small Business Owners

In reaction to the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court today on the "Affordable Care Act," the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) said the decision that keeps intact most of the law - including the individual mandate being deemed constitutional as a "tax" - will continue to impose a heavy burden on small business owners and entrepreneurs, thus harming the economy, U.S. competitiveness, job creation and the future of entrepreneurship.

"Most self-employed Americans and small business owners would purchase health insurance for themselves and their employees if they could afford it. The costly, tax-laden health care law with its individual mandate and intrusive regulations missed this entire point.  Rather than providing Americans with affordable choices through better competition, the health care law coerces Americans to buy packages designed by government bureaucrats in markets micromanaged by government bureaucrats," said SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

"The individual mandate serves as a gateway to more coercion, where small business owners and individuals will be forced to purchase any number of goods or services that political elites deem in their 'best interest.'  Today's ruling by the Supreme Court undercuts freedom, which is essential to economic growth and entrepreneurship.  Entrepreneurship is on the decline in the U.S., and we need policies that will encourage risk-taking and start-up activity.  Intrusive government policies and punishing taxes, like the Affordable Care Act with its individual mandate, work against a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, " observed Kerrigan.  

SBE Council Chief Economist Raymond Keating added:

"The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold ObamaCare is an egregious, irresponsible decision that ignores the clear intent of the U.S. Constitution to limit the powers and reach of government. By allowing the government to force individuals into a commercial transaction just because they are citizens, it's hard to think of any limits that can be placed on federal power - as long as such action is called a tax.  As bad as the regulatory environment has been in this nation, the federal government's power to regulate has now de facto expanded. It is critical that Congress step in, and unlike the Supreme Court, abide by the Constitution and repeal the monstrosity that is ObamaCare. If not, the ObamaCare mess of costly taxes and regulations and a vast expansion in federal spending will proceed, along with the threat of an unbridled federal government going on other activist sprees."

According to SBE Council, the U.S. needs a competitive health insurance market, which means it needs a national marketplace with ample choices for small business owners and entrepreneurs.  A competitive, national marketplace will produce affordable and innovative choices for small business owners, not one controlled by government.

SBE Council will continue to urge Congress and President Obama to pare back many elements of the health care law that hurt small businesses including the employer mandate, the individual mandate, the health insurance tax, the litany of individual tax increases in the legislation, and "one-size-fits-all" regulations where the federal government is dictating the types of packages that must be offered in the marketplace.   In addition, the group is pushing for improvements to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which have given small business owners more choice in health coverage but experienced a set back in the new health care law because it imposed various restrictions on usage.

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