“Health insurance is an enormous cost for small businesses,” said Amanda Ballantyne, the executive director of the Main Street Alliance, an advocacy group for small businesses. “It continues to be even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.”
Many businesses say they need Congress to provide more money, and health insurers say they support federal efforts to help employers continue their coverage. “We believe Congress should provide temporary subsidies or direct financial assistance for employers to protect the health and financial stability of hard-working Americans,” said Justine Handelman, a senior vice president at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents the nation’s Blue Cross plans.
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers must return the excess profits if they do not spend at least 80 or 85 cents out of every dollar in premiums on customers’ health care. But even that provision strikes some as inadequate, given the current