A new poll sees healthcare as the top issue for small businesses as the new Congress takes shape after the midterm elections. The numbers come from a recent poll conducted by The Small Business Roundtable, a small business and entrepreneur organization dedicated to the advancement of this critical aspect of the American economy.
Small Business Healthcare Concerns
A full 31% of the respondents marked healthcare as their number one concern if there was only one issue for the new Congress to deal with in the upcoming year.
Changes to Obamacare Remain a Focus
This comes after several attempts by the Trump administration to repeal and replace what’s been commonly referred to as Obama Care. At the center of some of this controversy are pre-existing conditions and whether or not they will be part of any healthcare packages.
Healthcare Outpaces Immigration as Top Topic
Although a number of Americans have protection against denial of coverage for these conditions, there is widely thought to be a percentage that will need to turn to private markets or be uninsured if they are denied.
The issues surrounding healthcare are top of mind for small business owners and the American population alike. The poll, called The Small Business Policy Agenda, even placed healthcare ahead of more red button issues like immigration reform, seen by only 15% of respondents as a top concern.
Continuing Uncertainty Impacts Business Optimism
The continuing uncertainty around healthcare is impacting small business optimism. In fact, only 20% of respondents reported that they felt more optimistic about the future of their companies.
Another 23% reported feeling less optimistic and the largest swath (57%) reported feeling about the same as before the Midterms.
When it comes to the bigger picture and small business owners’ general view of the entire American economy, only a small percentage (17%) were optimistic.
Almost half of the respondents didn’t think the changes to Congress were going to have a big effect. Nipping on the heels of that 43% is a full 40% of people who were less optimistic about the future of the American economy.
Small Businesses Also Have Other Concerns
One of the other big takeaways from the poll is a concern over the new Congress and implications for tax reform and small business. Half of the people responding felt that the new 116th Congress will hurt their business when it comes to the previous tax reforms brought in by the Trump administration.
When it comes to other issues like trade policy, retirement savings and recruiting and retaining employees, most of the people responding didn’t think the switch in the balance of government was going to have any impact for small businesses.
Finally, a big swath of respondents predicted a big change in the way Congress does its job after the midterm. A full 43% saw upcoming changes as significant in that light.
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