September 13, 2019

60-40 NATION:

Small-Business Owners' Views on Health Coverage and Costs (Rhett Buttle, Katie Vlietstra Wonnenberg, and Angela Simaan, September 9, 2019, Commonwealth Fund)

Common themes emerged from this research that are aligned with anecdotal evidence and commonly held understandings and assumptions about the health care cost burden of small employers. Primarily, it is clear that health care costs are arguably the major concern for small businesses. Though small employers report taking steps to reduce the burden, often by shifting some of the costs onto their employees, few have considered dropping coverage altogether.

Increasing health care costs is not sustainable for small employers. They want change and are willing to take pragmatic steps. This desire for change does not adhere to party lines; across the ideological spectrum, small-business owners are open to a range of possible solutions. Those favored by small employers require legislative action, primarily at the federal level, to help small employers affordably provide health insurance to their employees.

Surprisingly, there was an openness to concepts that might be construed as extreme, like Medicare for All or a single-payer system. Other options, such as a Medicare or Medicaid buy-in, also found favor. Though business owners tend to be a conservative group, we did see an unexpected and almost apolitical frame on the issue of health care. Small-business owners did not ascribe blame to one actor or the other. They saw solutions as independent of party of origin, signaling an interest in policy and action from policymakers rather than a strict adherence to political ideology.

The "extreme" policies the Right wants to run against are all popular.

Posted by at September 13, 2019 7:40 AM