What do small business owners think of the AHA, AHCA?

Everyone has an opinion on the American Health Care Act, the new GOP plan to replace the ACA.

A new poll from the Small Business Majority surveyed 500 small business owners from across the country on their opinions on the AHCA. The survey was conducted online between March 17 and March 20 and had a +/- 4.5 percent margin of error.

Survey respondents came from a variety of backgrounds. Forty-eight percent were as male, while 52 percent were female. The majority of respondents (33 percent) were between the ages of 30 and 44, with the next largest proportions coming from the 45 to 54 age range (21 percent) and the 55 to 64 age range (20 percent).

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In a tele-press conference on March 23, Small Business Majority founder and CEO John Arensmeyer discussed what prompted the poll. “We’ve been intimately involved for years talking with small business owners about the ACA,” he said. “With the proposed changes in Congress, we knew this was a huge issue for small business owners.”

Near the beginning of the survey, respondents were asked about their existing knowledge of the ACA. Forty-eight percent of respondents admitted to only knowing “some” about the ACA. Another 24 percent said they knew “a great deal” about it, and 20 percent said they knew “not too much.” Five percent indicated they knew “nothing at all” about the ACA.

Next, the survey questioned respondents as to whether they support or oppose the ACA. Initially, 25 percent of respondents said they strongly support the ACA, while 29 percent said they strongly oppose it.

However, after answering a series of questions about their opinions on certain provisions of the ACA, respondents’ opinions changed slightly. Thirty-one percent said they strongly support the ACA and 24 percent said they strongly oppose it.

The poll then added the AHCA to the mix, initially asking respondents how much they knew about it. Thirty-five percent admitted to knowing “some” about it. Another 16 percent said they knew “a great deal” about the AHCA, and 28 percent said they knew “not too much.” Eighteen percent of respondents admitted to knowing “nothing at all” about the proposed plan.

Once again, the survey asked respondents whether they support or oppose the AHCA. Initially, 14 percent said they strongly support it and 27 percent said they strongly oppose it. After answering questions about specific provisions of the AHCA, respondents’ opinions changed. Fourteen percent of respondents said they strongly support the AHCA, and 33 percent said they strongly oppose it.

Finally, the survey asked respondents whether they would choose the ACA or the AHCA. Thirty-nine percent of respondents were strongly in favor of choosing the ACA, and 10 percent said they would choose the ACA but weren’t as strongly for it. Meanwhile, 16 percent said they were strongly in favor of the AHCA, and 10 percent said they would choose the AHCA but weren’t as strongly for it. Interestingly, 14 percent said they’d choose neither the ACA or the AHCA.

In a press release, the Small Business Majority noted that survey respondents were “politically diverse.” They seem to be, as 28 percent of respondents identified as Democrats, 27 percent identified as Republicans and 38 percent identified as Independents. The remaining 5 percent either indicated “other,” “don’t know” or refused to answer.

However, it’s important to note that a contributor to Forbes and The New York Times has said the Small Business Majority is left-leaning.

Photo: prinaka, Getty Images 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that the same contributor wrote in Forbes and The New York Times that the Small Business Majority is left-leaning. A spokesperson for the Small Business Majority also told MedCity that the polling firm used for the survey, Chesapeake Bay Consulting, is right-leaning.