Business groups criticize healthcare law

June 28, 2012 at 3:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- Some U.S. business groups criticized the healthcare law upheld Thursday by the Supreme Court, saying it would increase healthcare costs and reduce job creation.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Donohue called the healthcare law "fundamentally flawed" and said it would eliminate many Americans' employer-based health insurance, undermine creation of jobs and raise healthcare costs for all.

"It is imperative that policymakers and the business community now work together to develop and support genuine reforms that control costs, improve access, ensure quality and promote wellness," Donohue said in a statement. "These reforms and goals are achievable. The chamber and the American business community are ready to go to work to enact true health care reform. Given the court's decision, the need for action has never been greater."

The chamber's law firm had filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down the entire law if the individual mandate were held unconstitutional but the chamber took no position on the constitutionality of the mandate.

Dan Danner, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a release the individual mandate "has now become a tax on all Americans and a broken campaign promise from President Obama not to raise taxes."

As a result of the law, Danner said, "Small-business owners are going to face an onslaught of taxes and mandates, resulting in job loss and closed businesses."

He said the federation will continue to press for repeal of the law.

Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB's Small Business Legal Center, said, "This day will go down in history as the day when Americans lost a part of their freedom -- the freedom to choose what they want to buy with their own money when they want to buy it, apart from the government telling them they must purchase a product they may or may not want."

Rob Green, executive director of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, said in a statement the law would impose expensive burdens on the chain restaurant industry, thousands of small business franchises and their employees.

"Throughout the legislative debate on the [healthcare law] and over the last two years, NCCR has voiced the industry's consistent concerns that the law would do significant harm to job growth and the economy," Green said. "We're afraid that continues to be the case as the industry braces itself for 2014."

He said chain restaurants operate on small margins and "cannot support costly government-imposed mandates" and would face penalties for non-compliance.

"Many chains have indicated they will have no choice but to cut back on workers' hours or close restaurants in order to avoid the penalties," Green said.

He said NCCR would continue to push for repeal of the healthcare law.

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