As the nation sorts out the details of the Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and considers the long-term impact of the decision, one thing is clear: the nation's 22 million self-employed and micro-business owners are still worried about rising health care costs and they want Congress to act.
Last week, the National Association for the Self-Employed conducted a survey of our members to gauge reaction to the ruling and to measure support for the next steps in the law's implementation. Of the nearly 900 respondents to our online survey, 87% said they believe Congress should repeal the entire law, voicing concern that the law's reform measures do little to address the cost and affordability of purchasing and maintaining health insurance. These concerns, which come from a broad demographic of our members across party lines, are nothing new: America's self-employed have time and time again they are concerned about insurance access and affordability.
Among our members, knowledge of the law and its provisions is high -- more than 71% of those surveyed said they had at least some familiarity with the law. Given the way this issue has been politicized, I am not surprised that two-thirds of the respondents in our survey said the Court's decision and their viewpoint on healthcare reform would influence who they vote for in November.
But one thing does continue to puzzle me: why Congress and the Administration continue to turn a deaf ear to the concerns of the nation's self-employed. This entrepreneurial class makes up nearly 10% of the nation's workforce, yet we don't even get 1% of the consideration in the development and implementation of laws -- like health care reform -- that have an outsize impact on our ability to do business.
I hope that the lawmakers in Washington will acknowledge the diversity not just of opinion, but of policy needs for all of the nation's workers and business owners. I recognize how hard that is too do in our increasingly political, polarized world, but if we're serious about growing our economy and rebuilding the American dream, we must include all Americans in that dream.
Follow Kristie Arslan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/klarslan