Committee explores ACA’s impact on self-employed individuals (The Ripon Advance)

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Committee explores ACA’s impact on self-employed individuals (The Ripon Advance)

The Affordable Care Act’s impact on self-employed business owners was the topic of a House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce hearing last week.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the subcommittee, said self-employed business owners have faced higher insurance costs, smaller provider networks and coverage confusion since implementation of the ACA.

“This hearing provided a valuable dialogue about the effect of the health law on a segment of our community that many have forgotten about — the 15 million self-employed American businesses — and an opportunity to discuss positive healthcare solutions for these firms,” Hanna said.

The House of Representatives recently approved the Individual Mandate Penalty Law Equals Fairness Act, which would extend the Obama administration’s delay of the employer mandate to self-employed individuals.

“In fairness, the administration’s decision to delay part of the law should be applied equitably to all Americans, including sole proprietors and the self-employed,” Hanna said.

Approximately 60 percent of self-employed individuals reported there was a “low” or “very low” chance that they would be able to attain affordable and comprehensive insurance in 2014, according to the National Association for the Self Employed.

“”The highs costs and complexity they face today, combined with enormous uncertainty around any future improvement, have conspired to make many small businesses re-think whether their companies should continue to be entangled in the provision of health insurance,” National Small Business Association President Todd McCracken said. “Of course, there is no such choice for our nation’s self-employed. Whether health insurance is an individual or employer responsibility, they cannot avoid participation.”

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