Survey Finds that 41 Percent of Small Business Owners Have Frozen Hiring Because of Obamacare

WhiteHouse.govWhiteHouse.govA new poll of business owners about how Obamacare has affected employment decisions is positively brutal for the health law. Via CNBC:

Forty-one percent of the businesses surveyed have frozen hiring because of the health-care law known as Obamacare. And almost one-fifth—19 percent— answered "yes" when asked if they had "reduced the number of employees you have in your business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act."

The poll was taken by 603 owners whose businesses have under $20 million in annual sales.

Another 38 percent of the small business owners said they "have pulled back on their plans to grow their business" because of Obamacare.

Only 9 percent of the businesses surveyed thought the law would be good for business. Another 39 percent thought the law would not have much effect. More than half—55 percent—said they expected Obamacare to result in higher health care costs.

This tracks with other survey data. In April, a survey by the Chamber of Commerce found that the health law was the top worry for small business owners—edging out economic uncertainty, which had been at the top of the list for two years. We’ve also seen some economic evidence that the law is discouraging employers from hiring full-time employees.

And why shouldn’t small business owners be worried? The Obama administration recently delayed a key part of the law’s small business insurance exchange—essentially the only part that might provide small businesses some benefit. The law also imposes health coverage mandate on businesses with more than 50 employees. Firms that don’t comply end up paying a per-worker penalty. That’s already sparked concern amongst some employers who worry they might have to reduce full-time staff, and confusion amongst others who still don’t have a clear idea about what they will have to do to comply with the mandate. 

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  • Pro Libertate||

    Economic growth and prosperity are just around the corner.

  • Marginal||

    How widely will this news be reported by our lickspittle media?

  • sarcasmic||

    Market failure!

  • AlexInCT||

    Evil capitalists can't understand that their job is to create make work and easy free healthcare & benefit options for people? Profits are evil things!

    Since there is not enough money to make us all stinking rich, and even these Keynesians know that if they printed or borrowed enough to do this it would be meaningless money anyway, lets make us all poor and equally miserable! Equality of outcome rocks....

  • Mainer2||

    Only 9 percent of the businesses surveyed thought the law would be good for business

    They also believe in unicorns and leprechauns.

    Seriously, regardless of the issue, there seems to be minimum threshold of around 10% of the population that is deeply and profoundly confused.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Those are probably the rent seekers looking forward to thedecreased competition.

  • Jon Lester||

    Insurance brokers, maybe?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I wonder if they meant good for business overall or just good for their business. If the latter, I wonder what that business is.

  • Sevo||

    Temp agencies?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Plausible.

  • Sevo||

    HR contractors.
    Hey, if the government screws it up, there is always money to be made on bandaids.

  • AlexInCT||

    Death Panels?

  • DaveAnthony||

    Lobbyists?
    Lawyers?

  • DontShootMe||

    Tax preparers looking to see more small business clientele?

  • Aresen||

    Considering that something like a quarter of the public believes in astrology, I am unsurprised that 9% of business owners think Obamacare would be good for their business.

  • NAPfollower||

    The law will be good for this 9 percent because it will put their competition out of business allowing them to grab a larger market share.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    9 percent of business owners surveyed are clearly using the company expense account to huff fairy dust out of a paper bag.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Wreckers!

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Death to the Kulaks!

  • mnarayan||

    Just a bunch of wingnut idiots. It's clear to anyone who has actually studied the information that the PPACA actually lowers the cost of healthcare to small businesses. Furthermore, it should be clear AHHH AHHH THEYRE INNNN ME AHHH AHHH MAKE IT STOP

  • Art Vandelay||

    THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU! THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!

  • AlexInCT||

    Don't make it spit pea soup please...

  • Mainer2||

    Earlier this week our management team sat through a webinar on Obamacare. The rules and definitions that do exist are mind numbingly complicated. And there are a multitude of questions that literally cannot be answered at this point; rules are yet to be written. Anyone who thinks this is going to make medical insurance more affordable is in some alternate universe. I think most people have no idea what a shit storm is coming over the horizon.

  • Jordan||

    Moar wingnut Teathuglican lies! The God Emperor is infallible!!1

    /Shreeeeek

  • NoVAHockey||

    people don't believe it. i don't like telling clients "i don't know" or "it's TBD." but it's true.

  • BladeDoc||

    One of my admins told me that since we are going to be subject to the "cadillac tax" they are considering dropping our insurance.

    I work at a hospital who basically cannot afford itself under the new regs.

  • Lord Humungus||

    let's pass a complicated byzantine healthcare law in the middle of a recession - hurrah!

  • John||

    It is even better than that. Lets pass a healthcare law that will take at least four years to implement making labor costs totally uncertain and business planning virtually impossible.

    And leftists just can't understand why the employment picture is so horrible even though business are making money and the country is not technically in a recession.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Legislation crafted and voted by people who have no idea what it takes to make it in the private sector. They've all grown up married in some way to the public teat. Uncertainty is a killer. Red tape is a killer. When profit margins are thin, as they are for most small businesses, every cent counts.

  • John||

    Yup. Why you have to actually work in the private sector to grasp the obvious fact that you can't plan and thus cannot expand if you don't know what your costs are is beyond me.

  • ||

    Not really. All you need is to educate yourself.

  • John||

    It really is a form of brain washing. These people grow up in an intellectual cocoon that says the economy just magically performs and nothing they do will hurt it.

  • ||

    One Econ/business course...

    Problem solved.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    One Econ/business course...

    Problem solved.

    Walter Williams a great entry-level series online.

  • sarcasmic||

    All you need is to educate yourself.

    Remember that leftists value principals over principles.
    Someone who values principles can educate themselves because they have the ability to learn. They judge ideas and material on its own merit, and act accordingly.
    Someone who values principals may allow themselves to be taught, depending upon the source. They judge the source, and if it passes then they accept the ideas and material, regardless of how absurd it may be.
    If the source doesn't pass, then they dismiss the ideas and material, regardless of how much sense it may make.

    That's why leftists believe some really stupid shit that makes no logical sense: because they believe in principals, not principles.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What can you do about people who believe crap like this:

    As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs -– but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment. And only if we rally together and act as one nation –- workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors.
  • John||

    I don't know fatty. That is absolute insanity. It really is like if someone said their national health policy was going to be prayer. Make no mistake about it. Thinking prayer is going to cure cancer is no less insane than thinking wind and solar are going to replace fossil fuels.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Thinking prayer is going to cure cancer is no less insane than thinking wind and solar are going to replace fossil fuels

    No, at least the placebo effect has well documented evidence.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Thinking prayer is going to cure cancer is no less insane than thinking wind and solar are going to replace fossil fuels
    No, at least the placebo effect has well documented evidence.

    Actually, there is a study that shows that people who know they're being prayed for do worse. The best guess is that they felt added stress to have a good recovery.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    he best guess is that they felt added stress to have a good recovery.

    I'd guess it's because they believe that god will listen to the prayers and heal them, meaning they don't need their body to actually heal itself. Sort of a reverse placebo effect.

  • sarcasmic||

    And only if we rally together and act as one nation –- workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors.

    By "rally together" I'm sure they mean "forced by government" because collectivists simply cannot comprehend the idea of individuals voluntarily acting in a collective manner without force involved. Well, they can comprehend it, and they detest it. Why else would they be so openly hostile to corporations, churches, and other groups of individuals voluntarily acting in a collective manner?

  • ||

    "What can you do about people who believe crap like this:"

    You call them out as liars, in no uncertain terms, instead of entertaining the notion of their obvious deception.

  • Killazontherun||

    Only if we seize the moment. And only if we rally together and act as one nation –- workers and entrepreneurs all of you drones lacking your own vision; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors then my vision of the good society will be fullfilled.

  • AlexInCT||

    Don't forget the part where they exempted themselves and their buddies from this monstrosity they produced. Maybe some here want to ascribe this disastrous thing to pure stupidity, but I think it was done with malice and this exact purpose. The end goal for these fucks has always been to destroy any private healthcare system and force people to swallow the single payer government shit sandwich.

  • John||

    Not true. Right now members of Congress and their staffs are both going to have to buy from the exchanges. And they are whining about it big time.

  • AlexInCT||

    You really believe them getting an exemption or work around isn't a "fait accompli", John?

  • SugarFree||

    In French, fait accompli means "fat assistant."

  • Fatty Bolger||

    They were making noise about exempting Congress, until Republicans proposed a bill that would force federal workers to use the exchanges. That seems to have put an end to it, for now.

  • sarcasmic||

    Well if greedy business owners would quit hoarding cash and create jobs like they're supposed to, then there wouldn't be an unemployment problem! The only reason there is unemployment is because the rich are hoarding their wealth! If only we would tax them more, tax those profits away, and then use that money to create jobs! That would get the economy working again!

  • John||

    Sadly, they actually believe this. How many article have been written about the need to get people spending again and stop hoarding (I mean saving) money?

  • Doctor Whom||

    We need a penaltax to make them hire.

  • Lord Humungus||

    the really nasty little bit was the slow-walk implementation, with the big bits timed after the election.

  • John||

    That ensured that employment was not going to recover until at least the end of the decade if ever. Employment cannot recover until this uncertainty is ended and the markets adjust to whatever the new reality is.

    And of course since this thing is a job killing machine that is going to probably end full time employment for all but the most skilled, employment will never be the same again regardless. So there is always that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    ObamaCarousel isn't the only problem with our economic situation, though it's a major one. The parasite appears to have gone past making us ill to making us bedridden. It was always a question about how much the U.S. economy could take, and we appear to be close to an answer.

  • John||

    Obamacare combined with massive environmental regulation combined with federal and state deficits combined with the Fed destroying the currency is pretty close, yes.

    It astounds me we are not a third world country already.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't think people appreciate what a gigantic and powerful economy we have. It's all talk about other countries, like China most recently, who have a fraction of our GDP.

    Considering that we carry a huge military on top of our social welfare programs, it's a testament to our economic strength that we could maintain a growing economy as long as we did. Europe, with no real military expense at all, didn't do nearly as well.

    But that's all over now, unless we change course, which seems unlikely.

  • John||

    People have no idea how rich we are and how massive our economy is. It really is almost incomprehensible the amount of wealth and goods and services we have. You can have virtually anything delivered to your door at nearly a moments notice.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There's still a small chance that juggernaut economy will get us out of this mess, particularly if we can manage some groundbreaking technological advance in the next decade or so. Fusion, mass (and cheap) exploitation of space resources, etc.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Many people don't realize that we could be an energy giant if we were allowed to develop more land in that area than we do now. Russia reasserted itself on the world stage that way, and from what I've read we've got the untapped resources to outdo Russia.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I wouldn't hold your breath on either fusion or space resources. But the enthusiasm over natural gas seems legit. And unfortunately it will almost certainly be regulated or outlawed to death because fracking.

  • AlexInCT||

    Who says we are not? These numbers are so badly fudged that we could already be there and just not know it yet.

  • Marginal||

    Why couldn't the just pass a simple, 1/2 page law:

    Any U.S. citizen may buy health insurance from any company in the United States?

    Then we'd have 50 different experiments.

    Why did they have to ruin everything?

  • Mainer2||

    ^ THIS times infinity

    Every time I hear Obamacare referred to as health care "reform" I want to smack the person saying it. This is exactly the opposite of reform.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Sure it was reform. It expanded upon the worst aspects of the ols sytem and the full socialist system they long for. Reform does not mean "good".

  • Aresen||

    ?

    Not sure what your point was.

    In essence, "Any U.S. citizen may buy health insurance from any company in the United States" was the prior state, assuming you had the money to pay the premiums.

    If you want it funded by the government, that is a different matter. The insurance companies would have loved that.

    If you did not want to fund it and mandated that insurance companies accept all applications while charging the same premium to all comers, then either the premiums are going to go sky-high or the insurance companies are going to shut their doors.

  • DaveAnthony||

    Wrong, as a citizen of Virginia, I was not allowed to buy insurance plans offered to the citizens of Maryland, no matter how much I wanted to.

    There was, and still is, no competition across state lines for health insurance.

  • Aresen||

    OK, point clarified.

  • ||

    But remember, shreek said Ocare doesn't affect small businesses.

    Oh, you want to grow your business? Why would you want to do that? Big business is evil.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Reminds me of Ann Althouse's live blog of Obama's 2010 SOTU.

    8:26. Small businesses are good. (Come on, talk to them.) Big business sucks though. We want to help small business grow... so it can become big business and then we can hate it.
  • Marginal||

    Honest question:

    How extensively do you catalog this stuff?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    None at all. Google is my friend.

  • Not Sure||

    I had something for this...

  • Jon Lester||

    For better or for worse, many Americans are accepting 29-hour workweeks as their new reality. Remember the woman who asked then-Senator Obama, candidate for president, "is this my new reality?" Turns out the short answer was "yes."

  • Homple||

    We all must work shorter hours because we have to employ more people to accommodate the numbers of soon-to-be-legal illegal immigrants.

    This has been carefully planned and coordinated by our top men, you know.

  • kbolino||

    We all must work shorter hours because we have to employ more people to accommodate the numbers of soon-to-be-legal illegal immigrants.

    Under what set of fucked up premises does this even begin to make any sense?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Solution: penalize tax employers for not hiring new employees.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Drat, you beat me to it.

  • ||

    Foreseeable consequences are foreseeable.

  • John||

    Not if you are stupid they aren't.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It's not a lie if you believe it.

  • Art Vandelay||

    +1 Melrose Place

  • Doctor Whom||

    But ... but ... our overlords didn't intend them! That's what matters.

  • Lord Humungus||

    and let me call out John Roberts (again) for letting this fly.

  • Sevo||

    Not only letting it fly, but inventing a whole new reality in order to keep it from crashing.

  • Marginal||

    I wish I believed in Hell.

    I'd like to imagine an afterlife where Roberts is raped by porn-stars afflicted with elephantitis in perpetuity.

  • Hugh Akston||

    So 41 percent of small business owners are racists?

  • Pro Libertate||

    That goes without saying.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Actually it's about 91% percent.

    Only 9 percent of the businesses surveyed thought the law would be good for business.
  • Pro Libertate||

    Whatever figure you use, they're all racists.

  • SugarFree||

    No, small business owners are a right-wing meme.

  • Pro Libertate||

    And if they do exist, they'll be regulated out of existence to protect America.

  • T||

    Where's PB to tell us all the business owners are just low-information voters who don't understand what a boon Obamacare is to them? Man, funny how it disappears when actual facts that destroy the worldview show up.

    So, maybe the thought I had of buying a small business right now perhaps isn't the best one?

  • Doctor Whom||

    My liberal Facebook friends have been really quiet about their messiah in the past few weeks. When they post at all, it's now about their favorite TV shows.

  • John||

    Same with mine. The NSA scandal really has demoralized them. They just don't want to talk about politics anymore.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I wonder how the Dem 2014 plans to the the house are looking.

  • John||

    Not good. The thing to remember is that despite what the media propaganda says, the country is really evenly divided. Even Obama in 2008 only got 52.8% of the popular vote. In the most heavily Dem and heavily Republican districts, there is still often 40% or so of the other party. So if even say 20% of one party's base decide to stay home and not vote, that has a huge effect on the election, especially if the other party's base is motivated.

    If the Republicans are motivated and liberals demoralized, Republicans will win in all kinds of places they normally don't win and it will be a complete disaster for the Dems.

  • PapayaSF||

    And just wait until the exchanges are sort-of opened for business but barely work, rates go up even higher, and all the "you must provide birth control" rules come down on all the Catholic institutions. I think that last is something that a lot of people don't know about.

  • AlexInCT||

    Sounds like the dems need to find some more dead people, illegals, fake absentee ballot stuffing, and multi ballot voting lever pullers to counter act the stupid people from handing the evil party power...

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I have no doubt it's hurting recruitment for them, which is often more important than conditions on election day.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If they didn't win the House with Obama on the ticket they are not going to win in an off-year. A good chunk of Obama's base only vote in Presidential elections.

  • perlhaqr||

    Lucky you. Mine keep posting about how hypocritical it is that some right wing talking heads were for it when Bush was doing it and are against it now that Obama is doing it.

    They do not, of course, respond to any questions about Obama doing it.

  • Ranter||

    Well, clearly the unfavorable opinion is probably due to people not knowing enough about it. This calls for millions of dollars for a new rebranding campaign.

    Or maybe it's because people are greedy and dont want to help the public good and save orphans.

    Thanks Justice Roberts. I hope the onset of your painful, horrible age-related problems are only treatable through Obamacare programs.

  • tarran||

    That fucker is set for life. He isn't going to suffer like the little people.

  • John||

    He couldn't help it. The Dems said mean things about him. He was intimidated.

    What a fucking moral coward. I wouldn't like him but I could at least respect him as an adversary if he honestly believed what he wrote. But it is clear he didn't. It is clear, he agreed with the minority and changed his vote after finding out killing Obamacare might make him unpopular.

    Roberts is a living example of why character matters. When it came out during his confirmation in law school he was already changing how he behaved and wrote in preparation for some day being confirmed to the court, they should have voted him down that day. Talk about a red flag.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'd like to take him to an alternative universe where he led the charge to strike down the law.

  • John||

    He is just a weak willed narcissistic immoral person. There really is a good essay to be written about his caving on Obamacare being an example of moral cowardice and rationalization. I have no doubt he wakes up every day thinking he did the right thing and courageously saved the reputation of the Court, as if bowing to a mob is somehow the morally courageous thing to do.

    If he were just an ordinary coward who failed in a big moment, he would be sad but uninteresting. What makes him interesting is that he is such a coward and failed so spectacularly when it mattered so much and will no doubt go to his grave having convinced himself he was courageous.

  • Ranter||

    Yeah, he strikes me as being a coward who sided with what he thought was popular opinion against all the things a judge is supposed to factor in to a decision.

    So instead of taking a stand and acting as a bulwark against the creeping invasion of the government, at the moment of truth, he rolled us over and generously applied the lube.

    I only hope that he's eternally verbally tarred and feathered by conservatives and libertarians alike. Or that the small businesses he frequents let him know just how shitty their financial outlook is due to his "popular" and wise ruling.

  • John||

    I hope that he is universally hated on the right for the rest of his life. I have no doubt the Left will turn on him the moment he gives a bad decision, which very well may be this Monday when they hand down the affirmative action decision.

    I think he thought that if he caved on Obamacare, the Left would be more accepting of other decisions that didn't go their way. What a fucking buffoon. My hope and guess is that he will end up being hated by nearly everyone despite or indeed because of making it his life goal to be liked by everyone.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That case could've been groundbreaking, drawing a firm line about limits of federal power. Something this country desperately needed. And needs.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, it did have some rulings restricting the Necessary and Proper and Commerce Powers, which were some of the worst offenders for federal growth.

  • Marginal||

    ^^^It's all true. Every fucking word.^^^

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I don't think it makes sense that he changed his vote to not be unpopular because Obamacare was unpopular.

    He said he wanted to the kind of justice that ruled narrowly on things and wanted his court to not seem partisan, I think that actually explains his opinion.

  • Pro Libertate||

    He may have massively expanded federal power. Look for new penaltaxes in the coming years.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    By narrow I meant legally, a court that is hesitant to strike down things. Roberts came up during a time when judicial restraint by itself was seen as a virtue by many conservative legal thinkers.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Screw that. The courts serve little purpose if all they do is wave the cape and shout "¡Olé!" as the government goes by.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Oh, I agree (and nice imagery, though I imagined him using his robe). But I don't think we have to imagine that Roberts caved in some way, he told us from the get-go he was going to be that kind of judge.

  • Marginal||

    Let me know if I'm wrong but it seems to me that if you tossed this, you would have to throw out Wickard and then all the law journals would yell at you about having revived Lochnerism in some sort of radical attempt to destroy the (benign) Modern State and thereby subvert democracy through judicial tyranny/activism.

    In other words, this is exactly the same as losing Raich v. Gonzales and for the same reason? E.g., that federal power must be unlimited?

    I honestly expected that they would just toss out the mandate, which was unpopular, and find some sort of hand-waivey reason to ignore the lack of severability....

  • robc||

    I think Ive mentioned it before, but I had lunch last fall with my ex-boss (1997-2000). His company was about 20 people when I left and about 40 now.

    He said their office manager (for lack of a better term) who handles HR stuff and payroll and 401k stuff and etc told them she will quit the day they hire employee #50. He said that would at least knock them back to 49, but they would probably have to hire a "real" HR person then to handle all the BS associated with being a 50 person company.

    They have no plans to break that barrier at this time (or ever).

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Anybody who saw this coming also knows that Obama will demagogue this to death and lower the thresholds to 25 full OR part time employees

  • ||

    I came here to see what 'mr. obama is an ardent defender of the second amendment' had to say.

    I am sure he will show up any minute.

    There is nothing in this article that we didnt know before this was voted into law, and this effect was intended by the authors of the law. Just keep Pelosi's shit-eating grin pictured in your mind when she said this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV-05TLiiLU

    If you are going to lord it over a helpless population, you need them to be poor.

  • Mainer2||

    An example of belief trumping facts recently from the Union Leader. New Hampshire is debating Medicaid expansion. The intention is to reduce the number of uninsured. The linked editorial points out that our neighbor Maine did EXACTLY what is being proposed for NH, and the number of uninsured did not go down, nor were costs reduced. Yet real world failure of the proposed expansion in a state that is about as much a demographic twin as you can find simply does not deter the true believers. It simply can't be that things won't work out as intended. A small but instructive example.

    http://www.unionleader.com/art.....05/-1/NEWS

  • John||

    It was just bad luck in Maine. It will be different this time.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The wrong people were in charge there.

  • Mainer2||

    FTA:

    "Much of the current debate in New Hampshire is based on assumptions that are the opposite of recent experience. Those assumptions account for most of the difficulty the two sides have in even understanding their counterparts' position."

    This paragraph just resonated, because it strikes to the heart of so many issues. "assumptions that are the opposite of...experience". Again, how do you convince someone who willfully ignores the real world ?

  • Not Sure||

    Evidence is for losers. Goals and feelings are all I need.

  • AlexInCT||

    That's why they are going to "UTILIZE" us man.....

  • tarran||

    Having watched Tony flail around, I think that there is no solution to willful ignorance, like the lightbulb in the shrink's office, it has to *want* to change.

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