The country’s largest small business lobbying group – the National Federation of Independent Businesses – is one of the plaintiff’s looking to overturn the Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court, a decision likely to be announced within the next week.
But a poll released today by a different small business lobbying group – Small Business Majority – found that small business owners in eight states polled (both red and blue, including Illinois) favor the landmark national health care reform and want the Supreme Court to keep it intact.
Of the 800 small business owners surveyed, 56 percent support either keeping ACA as is or making minor changes, while 28 percent want to repeal the law.
In Illinois, 63 percent of all small business owners want the law mostly or entirely upheld, while 22 percent want it repealed.
The Illinois advocacy group Campaign for Better Health Care touted the findings: “Contrary to popular belief, Illinois businesses support ACA,” says Jim Duffet, executive director of the Campaign for Better Health Care.
The survey also comes after two progressive members of Congress – U.S. Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) – questioned whether the National Federation of Independent Business truly represents the interests of its members in opposing ACA.
The Washington, D.C.-based political polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research conducted the poll online over the course of a week: The findings also show that small businesses support state health insurance exchanges, which is poised to be a major issue in Illinois over the next year, assuming ACA is not entirely struck down.
Of the Illinois business owners surveyed, 73 percent want to see the creation of an exchange, which is a one-stop market for people without health insurance to find coverage and would be set up like airline price comparison sites.
Small business support makes some intuitive sense. Even small business owners opposed in principle to the state expanding its reach could see practical benefits in the exchange. Yet despite political support in Illinois for ACA from Gov. Pat Quinn and the Democratic-controlled state legislature, the exchange has never gotten off the ground in the Prarie state. A bill by State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) creating an exchange went nowhere this spring.
Under the 2010 ACA law, states have until January 1, 2014 to create a fully running exchange. Just 12 states plus the District of Columbia have done so thus far. Besides New York, Rhode Island is the only state to create an exchange through executive order.