NASE on Micro-Business

Posts Tagged ‘poll

Every time we ask the self-employed to tell us what’s on their mind, they don’t disappoint. This week, I’ve been knee-deep in efforts surrounding the recent release of our survey on the health reform perspectives of the self-employed.

Here are some cool tidbits I learned from the results (print version):

  • The self-employed are following the health care debate like hawks. When asked how many had heard the term “public option” in relation to discussions surrounding reform, two-thirds indicated they were familiar with the term, and of those, 71 percent identified it correctly as “a health insurance program run by the government and open to anyone in need of health coverage.”
  • The top two health tax proposals favored by micro-businesses are providing tax credits to businesses and the self-employed to offset health care costs and reforming the tax treatment of health coverage so that, regardless of whether health insurance is purchased individually or accessed through an employer, the worker receives the same tax benefits.
  • The majority of respondents were neutral on a recent suggestion of a cap on the employer exclusion. However, there were quite a few who strongly opposed such a cap.

The above figures are cool – in the Public Affairs department, we LOVE having stats to pass along to media – but I always enjoyed being able to wade through individual responses. Our response system is completely anonymous, and even though I can’t “put a face” to each comment, reading them always gives me a better understanding of what people out in the “real world” are thinking. Many survey respondents gave specific comments on the public option, mandates and other issues impacting the health care reform conversation. Here are just a few examples:

I do not think the government should become an insurer. I do think the government should regulate private insurers more.

I do not agree with the government mandating how businesses should run. They have been unsuccessful with their own budgets. What qualifies them to stipulate this to successful businesses?

Employers should not provide coverage. Let individuals subscribe to whatever plan they want and let employees take home money to purchase insurance instead of the employer purchasing for it for them. Individual needs are different.

I do not think the government should be able to pick and choose the businesses that are required to carry health insurance for their workers.

I would prefer that the government not be involved in providing my health care. However, I also cannot continue to provide health insurance on my own through private insurers if they continue to increase premiums at the current rate. If I could not afford private insurance, I would hope that there would be some other option rather than no insurance. If that is a government policy, then so be it.

NASE Members: Do you have a comment to add about health reform or any of the topics mentioned above? I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a note below, drop us a line on Twitter (@NASEtweets or @koberlander) or visit our Facebook sites (Group and Fan pages) to weigh in.

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As this year’s Cover the Uninsured Week starts to wind down, I am encouraged that we will see major steps in reform for the working uninsured. And that’s a nice place to be.

With over 60 percent of Americans living without health insurance coming from a family where the head of household works for a small business, the NASE routinely supports efforts, like Cover the Uninsured Week, to inform folks about their coverage options from federal or state programs.

The NASE conducts several online polls of our members each year. Recently, we asked micro-businesses to speak up about their health care situation. It’s nothing new that many people, not just the self-employed, struggle to pay their premium costs. However, we found that one quarter of micro-business owners are currently uninsured, and almost three-quarters (71 percent) have been uninsured at some time.

While corporations are able to deduct health insurance premiums as a business expense and forego FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes on these expenses, the self-employed are not. As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, The Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed Act (H.R. 1470) would eliminate this double digit disparity in the tax code, which inhibits the self-employed from receiving a full deduction for health insurance costs.

Cover the Uninsured links:

 

 

 

The self-employed are speaking out about their support for federal small business programs and hoping the Obama Administration is listening. In a recent online poll by the NASE, an overwhelming majority of business owners (80%) want the new president to improve and expand current small business federal programs.

Over one-quarter of entrepreneurs have utilized services offered by the federal government, despite the dwindling resources of many small business programs. For years, the NASE has been a supporter of federal outreach that consistently and effectively aids the self-employed and micro-businesses community. Funding for SBA programs has faced drastic cutbacks for the past several years, including Women’s Business Centers and Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).

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