In the three years since President Obama signed his health-care overhaul into law, the Affordable Care Act has survived virulent opposition, multiple repeal attempts, and a U.S. Supreme Court challenge led by influential lobbying groups, including the National Federation for Independent Business. Many conservative lawmakers remain firmly opposed: Last week, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) held a hearing in Washington on Obamacare, saying it threatens "to stifle small business growth across all industries" and "provides economic incentives to reduce employee hours and drop health insurance coverage altogether."
To help deliver on his promise to offer quality, affordable health care to the nation's 48.6 million uninsured, Obama needs to get a lot more of the nation's small businesses to offer coverage to their employees. Only 61 percent of companies with from three employees to 199 employees offer employee health insurance, in contrast to the 98 percent of companies with 200 or more employees that offer coverage to at least some of them, according to a December 2012 Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Businesses with three workers to nine workers are least likely to offer coverage, with only half offering it in 2012.