A new Gallup poll of small-business owners indicates that Obamacare is having a dramatic and deleterious effect on Americans’ employment prospects. More than 40 percent of small-business owners say that Obamacare has caused them to freeze hiring, while nearly a fifth say that it has caused them to cut existing workers. According to the poll, 41 percent of small-business owners have frozen hiring, while 19 percent have “reduced the number of employees [they] have in [their] business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]” (italics added).
The Gallup poll was commissioned by Littler Mendelson, a firm specializing in employment law. Steven Friedman, an attorney for the firm, said of the results, “We were startled.” He added that these are “some pretty startling answers.”
Just 9 percent of the 603 employers surveyed by Gallup said Obamacare will be good for their business, compared to 48 percent who said it will be bad. Just 5 percent said Obamacare will lower health costs, while 55 percent said it will raise them. Just 13 percent said Obamacare will improve the quality of health care, versus 52 percent who said it will diminish it.
Fully three-eighths (38 percent) of small-business owners said that, because of Obamacare, they “have pulled back on their plans to grow their business.”
In addition to these results, 18 percent of small-business owners say they have already cut their workers’ hours back to part-time levels in anticipation of Obamacare’s effects. Moreover, 24 percent “are weighing whether to drop insurance coverage.”
Obamacare’s federally required insurance has to cover more things (including birth control, sterilization, and the abortion drug ella), and hence will be more expensive, than the insurance that most people choose to buy when they are left free to make such decisions for themselves. Obamacare will mark the first time in American history that private citizens will be required to buy a product or service of the federal government’s choosing, merely as a condition of living in the United States.
Small businesses are a major driver of job growth, and this Gallup poll helps shed light on why job growth has been so abysmal during the Obamacare era. Since the moment when the Democrats passed Obamacare in March 2010, the portion of Americans (among those who are at least 16 years old and are free to pursue employment) who have been employed has always remained under 59.0 percent — according to the federal government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics. In comparison, from the last few months of the Reagan administration, through the entire four years of the first Bush administration, through the entire eight years of the Clinton administration, through the entire eight years of the second Bush administration (which covered the bulk of the most recent recession), the portion of Americans who were employed was always over 60.0 percent — every single month, for more than 20 consecutive years. Again, that’s according to the federal government’s own tallies.
Perhaps there’s a reason why this has been the worst economic recovery in the past six decades — and perhaps that reason, or at least the core of it, is Obamacare.
Jeffrey H. Anderson is executive director of the newly formed 2017 Project, which is working to advance a conservative reform agenda.