As Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill write health-care legislation behind closed doors to replace the Affordable Care Act and prepare to send it to a vote, they are losing support from a key constituency: business owners across the United States.
Small businesses consistently cite health care as a critical issue. Health care is second only to "jobs and the economy" among issues that matter the most to business owners, according to the new CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey. It's especially important to owners of businesses with between 10 and 49 employees, according to the survey. The survey also found that the cost of employee health care is among the most "critical issues" business owners face, and concern increases for firms that have 10 or more employees.
More from the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey:
Business owners are confident about the economy
The No. 1 way business owners communicate to customers
Why entrepreneurs are big fans of Trump's tax plan
National polling reveals that a majority of Americans are now against the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, and surveys of business owners are showing a shift in opinion in line with the national consensus and influential lobbies, including AARP. President Donald Trump has expressed concerns about GOP legislation, calling it "mean" in a meeting with legislators about the original House effort.
Back in February, a month before the failure of the House effort to pass an Obamacare replacement, the online business marketplace BizBuySell surveyed 446 small-business owners on hopes for the Trump presidency. Forty-four percent of respondents called health care one of the top three issues they would like President Trump to address, beating out tax reform (43 percent) and jobs (30 percent). Sixty percent of those surveyed answered that they were in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act.