The National Federation of Independent Business, which was one of the main challengers to the Affordable Care Act in the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, is targeting three specific provisions of the federal health reform law it believes should be scaled back to reduce the burden on small business owners, the Washington Post reports.
In an interview with the Post following the high court's decision to uphold the law, NFIB President Dan Danner said the group ideally would prefer to repeal the law and "start over." Danner previously said the overhaul "saddles small businesses with a wagonload of cost increases," forcing them to withhold capital that they could otherwise use to improve and expand their businesses.
According to the Post, the group is now shifting its focus to specific provisions in the ACA that the group wants to make less burdensome for small business owners through legislative or regulatory action. Those provisions include:
- A health insurance tax, which Danner said would impose new fees on insurers that could amount to more than $87 billion between 2014 and 2020;
- Rules mandating that employers with at least 50 full-time workers provide health insurance, or pay a penalty; and
- The minimum benefits packages that businesses must offer employees, which HHS has not yet determined.
Although NFIB is preparing to "strip away and water down" some of the law's provisions, the group's executives have begun working with members to educate them about the law and help them comply with its provisions, the Post reports.
Danner said, "There's still a lot to yet to be decided, but we're not waiting," adding that NFIB is assisting members "to prepare them for what we know so far and we will keep working to make certain elements less of a burden for them going forward" (Harrison, Washington Post, 7/26).