Poll: 59 Percent of Businesses Say ObamaCare 'Step in Wrong Direction'

July 24, 2012 - 5:32 PM

Obama Health Care

President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 28, 2012, after the Supreme Court ruled on his health care legislation. (AP Photo/Luke Sharrett/Pool)

(CNSNews.com) – A study conducted by health care consulting firm Deloitte and the University of Chicago found that 59 percent of employers think the ObamaCare health reform law is a “step in the wrong direction.”

The survey, published on Tuesday, asked 560 businesses of varying sizes their opinions and planned reactions to the impending implementation of the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act.

When asked if they thought ObamaCare was a “step in the wrong direction,” 59 percent of businesses said yes; only 30 percent said they believed the law was "a good start.”

The survey also found that businesses felt that they were largely unprepared for the law’s implementation, which is scheduled to roll out in complete form in the coming years. Some aspects of the law, and regulations concerning it, already have been implemented.

Seventy-two percent of employers said they were either unprepared or only somewhat prepared for ObamaCare’s implementation. Particularly unprepared were small businesses, with 26 percent saying they were “unprepared” and 50 percent saying they were only “somewhat prepared.”

The survey also examined how employers planned to respond to ObamaCare.

The majority of employers planned to respond to ObamaCare by passing more health care costs onto employees, the survey revealed.  Sixty-nine percent of employers said they planned to increase cost-sharing, such as deductibles and co-pays, in the next three to five years, while 68 percent said they planned to increase employee health insurance premiums.

Most employers said they plan to keep employee coverage in some form, with only 9 percent saying they would drop coverage within the next three years. In total, 19 percent said they were either considering dropping coverage or definitely planned to drop it in the next three years.

However, 25 percent of companies said they were very or somewhat likely to drop coverage given the federal subsidies offered for individual insurance policies under ObamaCare, even though the companies would lose their tax breaks for offering coverage.

Small businesses were particularly likely to report moving letting their employees find coverage through the health insurance exchanges, with 71 percent of small businesses reporting they would drop coverage if the plans in the exchange were widely available.

However, the majority of businesses disliked the idea of a government-run insurance exchange, either federal or state. Only 18 percent of small businesses said they would direct employees to a government-run exchange, while 17 percent of medium-sized businesses held the same view. Seven percent of larger businesses said they would push employees onto the exchanges if they were run by the government.