House Republicans released a plan Monday evening to replace the Affordable Care Act, which eliminates a key provision in that law: The employer mandate.
The mandate requires businesses with at least 50 or more full-time employees to offer workers insurance or face penalties for failing to comply. The GOP plan, called the American Health Care Act, eliminates a similar rule for individuals that requires them to seek coverage or face fines.
The employer mandate has been cited as an impediment to small business growth in particular by opponents of the law, who claim it may force companies near the 50-employee threshold to make decisions about hiring based on the requirement that they offer workers coverage.
More broadly, the cost of health-care is a major concern for small businesses, with research from the conservative National Federation of Independent Business ranking the cost of health insurance its number one issue since 1986, and the nonpartisan National Small Business Association ranking it number three in a recent report.