Small-business owners shared their stories with federal lawmakers Wednesday about the effects on their operations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care. And they had very different views.
Some of the business owners, appearing before a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on small businesses’ concerns about PPACA, spoke of hardship; others lauded the landmark legislation.
Witnesses brought in by the Democrats expressed their gratitude to the government for trying to help them pay for health benefits.
Nancy Clark, who has owned a New Hampshire advertising agency since 1997, was among them. She said she strongly believes in the value of PPACA and in the value of offering employees health benefits.
“I really believe that a healthy workforce is a more productive workforce,” Clark said.
But not everyone agreed.
Another witness, Lawrence Katz, president of Jomar Cafe Inc., a Louisiana company that does business as Dot’s Diner, said his company is suffering serious problems because it has 65 full-time equivalents.
“We’re caught in this unintended donut hole,” Katz said.
Clark, on the other hand, said she was one of the “96 percent” of Americans who have benefited from PPACA.
Clark said she has taken advantage of the PPACA small-business health insurance purchase tax since it was created three years ago. The credit has averaged about $1,100 per year.
The credit “is not meaningful to a lot of businesses, but it is to me,” Clark said.
This year, premiums actually went down for every single employee, she added.
“For me, that’s a really nice step in the right direction,” she said.