Letter to Congress on Health Care Policy: What Do Small Business Employers Want?

By at 1 July, 2021, 8:47 am

Dear Member of Congress:

Rising healthcare costs and limited options are hurting small businesses and their employees. A new survey released this week by SBE Council finds that small business owners want policies that support their efforts to offer more health insurance options, not government intrusions that could undermine those efforts.

In our survey of more than 500 small businesses, conducted by Morning Consult from June 7-17, 72% of small business owners agreed that employers and employees, not government, should decide the type of health plans offered to workers.

Small business owners want to offer employees more choices, but currently they cannot. As Congress continues to explore and propose healthcare and drug pricing legislation, we thought it was important that Members understand the perspective of small business employers. Some of the key takeaways from the survey include:

● More than half (55%) of small business owners cite high costs of health insurance as a barrier to offering health insurance benefits.

● The majority of small business owners agree that employer health care solutions available to them have not kept up with the changing times.

● More than four in five Democrat small business owners (87%) and Republican small business owners (84%) agree employers need diverse health insurance options to meet growing employee needs.

● The majority of small business owners favor price transparency from health insurers and hospitals so that they can plan ahead and avoid surprise medical bills.

● Small business owners are least supportive of allowing the federal government to determine the price of prescription drugs or which prescription drugs are covered in Medicare, among all of the potential policies for lawmakers to consider in addressing healthcare costs.

● More than three quarters of small business leaders favor tax credits and financial incentives, for both businesses and individuals, as opposed to the top-down, anti-free market price controls being debated in Congress now.

This striking data shows that there is a disconnect between some lawmakers, and the voters they represent. As you well know, rising healthcare costs have been a long-term pain point for small businesses. High costs continue to hurt small businesses, and they are hard-pressed to find affordable and relevant health care benefit packages that meet their employees’ needs.

Small business owners want price transparency, minimal government intervention and financial support or incentives when it comes to supporting their efforts to provide health care options for employees.

Watch the Webinar for Insight: SBE Council held a webinar on June 30 to share the findings of the survey with stakeholders in the industry. You can watch the webinar here. In addition, the media release to our survey can be accessed here.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs represent the best of the American Dream, and our members continue to innovate and look forward to a full recovery from the COVID-19 economic nightmare. Being able to recover fully and provide employees (and future employees) with the health coverage they deserve requires a fundamental shift in approach from the federal government. Instead of mandates, we need incentives and innovation. Instead of behind-the-scenes price negotiations, we need transparency.

Thank you for taking the time to hear our concerns and for championing small business during the course of the pandemic. Please let us know if we can provide any additional information regarding the survey or our policy solutions that will help small businesses better recover, compete and grow.


Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO

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