The Affordable Care Act, affectionately called Obamacare, has been stacking up wins lately.
Over just the last few months we've shown the stunning developments that have taken place in the insurance industry as a result of Obamacare. Namely that insurance companies have begun a mass exodus from Obamacare markets because it is simply not profitable, and for those businesses that choose to remain, they have been forced to significantly increase premiums. Most recently, patients who purchases plans on the exchange have been getting turned down by doctors and hospitals who say they do not take Obamacare.
The impact on small business is something else we've discussed, most recently when a small business owner admitted to Hillary Clinton in a town hall event that her premiums had gone up $500 a month, which in turn made it difficult to cover the cost of insurance for her family, let alone think about offering it to her employees.
Lawmakers are well aware of their policy error, and on Wednesday yet another small business owner testified in front of the Senate committee on small business and entrepreneurship to explain what he has experienced as a result of congress rushing to get Obamacare passed.
Tom Kunkel, president and CEO of Maryland-based Full House Marketing and Print explained that he once hoped that Obamacare would have a favorable benefit to his business.
"From a small business perspective, the ACA could have been a huge relief and benefit. I was reimbursing employees for their premiums, because this offered me as a small business a way to compete with larger companies who provided employer-sponsored health insurance plans."
He later got a dose of reality when he was notified by his accountant of IRS Notice 2013-54, which prevents businesses from assisting employees with their individual market health insurance.
"I was stunned. Mid-year, I had to tell my employees I could no longer reimburse them for health care and that they were essentially on their own. I had several employees who could not afford their premiums without my contribution."
"One of my employees has cancer, and was not able to get his prescription refilled for over three weeks because of the new plan."
He concluded by telling lawmakers that Obamacare has impacted his company's ability to operate profitably, and is leading to less hiring, more expenses, and businesses will sometimes have to close their doors because of it.
"IRS Notice 2013-54 has essentially taken us back to the situation before the Affordable Care Act where a small business can not afford to offer health benefits to its employees. I feel the burden of many new initiatives as they affect my company’s ability to operate profitably and to hire and retain employees. Many of these initiatives often have unforeseen consequences and cause small businesses additional expenses and burdens that can lead to less hiring, more expenses, and sometimes lead to businesses closing their doors."
We can't say we're surprised at any of the testimony, because as is always the case, the more the central planners get involved, the more unintended consequences occur, hurting the very individuals they are intending to help.