Entrepreneurs

Most small-business owners are optimistic about Trump and repealing Obamacare

Donald Trump points to his supporters during his 'Thank You' rally at Crown Coliseum on December 6, 2016 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
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Donald Trump points to his supporters during his 'Thank You' rally at Crown Coliseum on December 6, 2016 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

On Friday, Donald Trump will officially become President of the United States. And Congress has already started taking actions to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

For the majority of small-business owners, this is good news, according to a recently released poll from small-business online resource Manta.

Just over half of small-business owners surveyed by Manta voted for Trump in the election.

And almost seven and ten small-business owners say that Trump will positively impact their business. The same majority believes that Trump will follow through his promises of deregulation and tax reform.

Simplifying regulation is a tall order for any President, but Main Street has hope.

Two-thirds of small-business owners report that they want to see Obamacare repealed and replaced. They complain about the cost of health care coverage, though companies with 50 or fewer employees are exempt under the law.

"As a small business that employs about 20 people, the company and our employees are paying twice what they paid for health insurance just two years ago, and are getting less for it," says Brad Chandler, CEO of Virginia-based home buying company Express Homebuyers, in a blog post Manta wrote about their poll results. "We are hopeful that the Trump administration can find a way to lower health insurance premiums while maintaining or increasing coverage benefits."

Small-business owners also say it's complicated to figure out how to buy health care on the exchanges.

"The company and our employees are paying twice what they paid for health insurance just two years ago, and are getting less for it." -Brad Chandler, CEO of Express Homebuyers

"I am not an expert on insurance and have a hard time trying to figure out the best plans and options are for myself, let alone a plan for less than 10 employees," says Greg Corey, owner of Porchlight, a small creative design agency in Atlanta, also in a blog post for Manta.

"In short, take the responsibility of purchasing insurance for employees from small business owners and make it even more accessible for individuals to purchase on their own."

Not all business owners want to see Obamacare repealed. Some entrepreneurs say it was a godsend, according to Sam Altman, the president of the prestigious start-up accelerator Y Combinator.

"I left academia on Jan. 1, 2013, as unemployed former postdoc," writes Ethan Perlstein, the biotech startup Perlara, in Altman's blog post. "I would not have been able to move across the country to start my company, and my wife wouldn't have given up her employer-sponsored health insurance, if not for Obamacare.

"Also, some of the first employees at Perlara depended on the ACA for insurance."

Randall Bennett, the founder of video streaming startup Vidpresso, says that Obamacare was similarly essential in his life and to his start-up.

"There's a good chance that, without the ACA, my start-up wouldn't exist, or I'd be dead." -Randall Bennett, founder of Vidpresso

"There's a good chance that, without the ACA my start-up wouldn't exist, or I'd be dead. When launching my startup we couldn't get health insurance because one insurer denied us because I once had a sleep study for sleep apnea. Once you get one rejection, all the others reject you," says Bennett.

"Then, last year I had a brain tumor. I had moved off to a more normal health plan ... but with the last set of rules chances are it'd have been unlikely I could have gotten any insurance, let alone a somewhat reasonable plan."

The polarization over Obamacare in the small-business community reflects the divide in the rest of the country, which is evenly split on the landmark health care legislation. And while Trump claims that Congress will replace the ACA at the same time that Congress repeals it, details on a substitute plan are scant.

For its poll, Manta surveyed 1,575 small business owners between Dec. 29 and Jan. 3.