Tag Archive for 'Obamacare'

Small business impact on November mid-term elections

Regardless of political party, history informs that the mid-term election in a second term has rarely been fun for any president. Consequently, President Obama’s party isn’t supposed to do well this November.

But with a Republicans House majority and Democrat control of the Senate now in jeopardy, this election cycle is producing a pitch battle with daggers drawn on every front. And not just because control of Congress is at stake for the next two years, but also six years of Democrat policies must be protected or reversed, depending upon to whom you talk.

In a recent online poll we asked our small business audience how they’re leaning in the November election. GOP responses came in at 63%, with Democrat allegiance at only 3%. The independent “I vote for the individual” got 29% and 5% said they “probably won’t vote.” Even if you give half the independents to the Dems, they still don’t rise to one-in-five among our group.

Republicans leading our sample tracks with other polls of the public. But besides the historic second term curse, there are other reasons small business sentiment skews heavily for the out-of-power party this year:

1.  Small business owners do something that’s at once special and difficult: they make between one and four payrolls every month. As a result, this group typically leans toward the GOP as a more business-friendly party. But it should be noted that the spread usually isn’t this great.

2.  Small business owners consider many Democrat policies anti-business. For example:

a.  Obama’s “America needs a raise” campaign to increase minimum wage is unpopular with small business owners.

b.  Recent tax increases have resulted in federal tax revenues at a 40-year record tax pace this year and next. Higher taxes depletes precious small business working capital.

c.  Essentially a stealth tax, regulatory compliance has increased significantly since 2009, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

d.  And the mother of all policy offenses: Obamacare. As a class, small business owners DO NOT like Obamacare.

There isn’t room to list all of the things troubling small business owners this year. But these leaders believe Washington policies have contributed to and prolonged the worst post-recession recovery since the Great Depression. And justified or not, President Obama is the face of the Democrat party, which right now is not good news for many incumbent Democrats needing support from their small business constituents.

Write this on a rock … Counting employees, Small Business USA is the largest voting bloc.

SBA Poll Results: How has Obamacare impacted your spending?

The Question:
How has the troubled roll-out of Obamacare this year, and uncertainty about healthcare coverage for next year impacted your holiday spending?

15% - It has had no impact at all. We’re not concerned about it.

38% - We’re somewhat concerned but haven’t adjusted our holiday spending.

31% - We’re concerned, and it has somewhat impacted our holiday spending.

16% - Our concerns about Obamcare have significantly lowered our holiday budget.

My Comments:
Well, less than half of our respondents, 47%, report Obamacare concerns have impacted their holiday spending. But those who confess concern, if not spending restraint, represented 85% of our audience.

Once we were merely concerned about Obamacare based on uncertainty about how it would work. Now we have plenty of troubling evidence that makes the damage of this law less uncertain, and yet there is still so much more to come that we don’t know about in the remaining roll out in 2014. Thus, at this moment, Obamacare has created a kind of double jeopardy–bad news that is real and more uncertainty about what’s yet to come.

One day in the future, when political science and government classes focus on how to create and launch successful political policy, Obamacare will surely be the all-time example of how NOT to do it. In the meantime, Americans are having to live the reality that is Obamacare as the metaphor for an epic fail in government and politics.

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SBA Poll Results: How has Obamacare effected your business?

The Question:
Obamacare was launched October 1. Have you seen a difference in customer attitudes and sales since then?

59% - No, customers aren’t acting differently and sales are the same.

41% - Yes, customer activity and sales are down since Sept.

My Comments:
I asked this question last week because when I have asked small businesses recently about sales, I have gotten comments like, “We were having a decent year, but since the beginning of October, it’s like someone turned off a switch.” So, I wanted to see how pervasive this condition was, and, as you can see from our responses, four-of-ten is pretty significant.

For almost four years, the uncertainty of how bad Obamacare would be has contributed greatly to the slow recovery. Like a perverse gift that keeps on giving, what we now know to be true about Obamacare is having a negative impact on the economy.

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SBA Poll Results: Will Obamacare ever be fixed?

The Question:
How confident are you that the Obama administration will be able to fix the problems with Obamacare?

00% - Completely confident

00% - Somewhat confident

100%- No confidence

My Comments:
We’ve polled our online audience several times regarding their attitude about and experience with Obamacare. Most of our respondents, but certainly not all, have been negative toward the law in past polls. But this week something happened that has NEVER happened in more than three years of our weekly poll: the response was 100% for a single option. As you can see above, not even those who have in the past favored Obamacare believe that the problems with this law can and will be fixed.

Such are the wages of ideological arrogance by any political party, to believe it could unilaterally reorder one-sixth of the economy and replace a 200-year-old marketplace that touches every citizen so intimately, merely by government fiat. Here’s my prediction: Obamacare will go down in history as a pejorative reference and metaphor on the scale of Watergate.

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Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

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SBA Poll Results: How is Obamacare affecting your health insurance?

The Question:
How is the impact of Obamacare affecting your health insurance coverage so far?

47% - My plan is still in force for now, with no changes in cost or coverage.

32% - My plan is still in force, but the premium has been increased.

0%- My plan has been cancelled, but I found acceptable coverage in the Exchange.

18% - Exchange options are more expensive and not as good as my canceled plan.

3% - If my plan is cancelled, I won’t be able to afford the Exchange options.

My Comments:
When considering the damage that Obamacare has created, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Over half of our respondents report challenges due to Obamacare, and it’s only been in force for six weeks. One can only imagine how bad things will be a year from now, based on the current trend and the knee-jerk attempts to “fix” the law. And I’m not even talking about the website. And the fear of what this law would do has been a major headwind to economic growth since it passed, by creating more long-term uncertainty that I’ve ever seen in my long career.

As you know, I have been an outspoken critic of Obamacare since day one. I was convinced it was never going to be successful in replacing a 200-year-old marketplace, and nothing that has happened in the past six weeks has surprised me. Obamacare should never have been passed. It took a contrived ruling by Chief Justice Roberts so it could at least seem to be constitutional. And the ineptitude of the government to run anything, let alone create something, has never been more fully in evidence.

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SBA Poll: Some broken promises have more consequences than others

The Question:
What do you think about President Obama’s promises since 2009 that you could keep your existing insurance?

2% - Whatever he said was for the greater good.

6% - Whatever he said was no worse than any other politician.

27%- Whether intentional or not, he misled the American people.

65% - The president lied to the American people.

My Comments:
Every president makes campaign promises. Some they keep and some they don’t. Most of the time when they don’t keep a promise it doesn’t amount to much. It’s politics, after all, right?

But sometimes a promise is so prominent that, when broken, it becomes quite momentous. President George H.W. Bush ran afoul of this truth when he broke his promise of “No new taxes–read my lips–no new taxes.” When he did, in fact, increase taxes during his first term, this breach of trust with voting Americans was definitely one of the reasons his reelection bid was lost to the unlikely candidacy of Bill Clinton.

Now fast-forward to the 21st century. “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it–period!” “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor-guaranteed!” These are the promises President Barack Obama made to Americans on dozens of occasions during the debate about the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, and in defense of the law after passage when he was running for reelection. Now, barely more than a month after Obamacare went live, it’s becoming obvious that there are problems with those promises.

Most people agree that Bush 41 was faced with issues that caused him to change his mind about taxes a few years later. The price he paid was for breaking his promise, but no one ever accused him of lying. But at this moment President Obama is in a whirlwind of public opinion about what he knew and what his motivations were when he made his promises. We asked our audience in a recent online poll what they thought with this question: “What do you think about President Obama’s promises since 2009 that you could keep your existing insurance?” Here’s what we learned.

Just 2% of our sample said, “Whatever he said was for the greater good,” with another 6% choosing, “Whatever he said was no worse than any other politician.” A little more than one-fourth allowed that, “Whether intentional or not, he misled the American people.” But almost two-thirds of our respondents believe, “The president lied to the American people.”

One thing is evident from this most recent presidential breech: Americans have very definite feelings about the cost and availability of their health care. And anyone who presumes to impose their will on this personal and intimate dynamic is putting their political prospects in harm’s way.

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Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!




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