fter a year of heated debate
that witnessed the rise of the
“tea party” movement, an
upset Senatorial election in
Massachusetts and the drama
of a historic Sunday afternoon
vote on the floor of the U.S.
House of Representatives,
health care reform was finally
passed by Congress and
signed into law by President
Obama in March.
It’s probably safe to say that this is one of
the most controversial pieces of legislation to ever become law in the history of
the United States. On one side, those who
support the new law say it will reduce
health care costs and premiums, bring
down the deficit, and improve the quality
of healthcare. On the other side, those
who oppose it say the exact opposite:
that healthcare costs and premiums will
continue to rise, the deficit will soar and
the quality of care will suffer.
Only time will tell which side is right.
But right now, many in the business community feel that uncertainty has grown,
not lessened, since the legislation passed.
In addition to instability in the financial
and real estate markets and the potential
for higher taxes due to cap and trade and
other administration initiatives, many
business owners consider healthcare
reform to be another huge question mark
in terms of where the economy is headed
and how much it will cost to run and grow
their businesses in the future.
And when business owners are uncertain, they tend to freeze. Anecdotally, three
of our new clients have told us that they’re
putting the brakes on growth plans they
had for their companies for at least the
next few months until they get a better
feel for how all of this is going to shake out.
Meanwhile, small business advocacy
organizations like the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
fought this legislation tooth and nail on
the grounds that it would cause irreparable harm to small firms, job creation
and the economy in general.
“For small businesses, healthcare reform
has always been about costs and reduc-
ing them,” said NFIB senior vice president
Susan Eckerly after the vote in the House
of Representatives. “But the only thing this
bill does is drive costs even higher. It will
raise, not lower, insurance costs and it will
increase both taxes and the cost of doing
business for the very people they said they
wanted to help: small business.”
While there have been a number of
signs this year that the economy is finally
emerging from the depths of the Great
Recession, what we’re experiencing could
be called a tenuous recovery, at best. The
last thing we need is more uncertainty
among small businesses, which are typi-
cally the primary engine that drives our
economy and new job creation during
times of recovery.
Tracy Eden is the national marketing director
for Commercial Finance Group (CFG), which
has offices throughout the U.S. CFG provides
creative financing solutions to small and
medium-sized businesses that may not qualify
for traditional financing. Further information can
be found at http://www.CFGroup.net. Eden’s
direct email is email@example.com.