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Survey: High Health Care Costs a Key Problem Preventing Small Business Growth

  • Small Business for America’s Future survey identifies challenges small businesses face due to health care costs
  • More than half of respondents say the cost of providing health coverage has inhibited growth potential
  • Respondents show strong support for a variety of potential solutions to reduce prescription drug costs

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

A recent survey by Small Business for America’s Future identified health care and prescription drug costs as a key challenge standing in the way of growth opportunities. The survey also reflected strong support for government intervention to rein in drug prices.

The survey, issued between April 17 and May 5, collected responses from 1,052 small business owners. The majority had five or fewer employees, and about half earned gross revenues of less than $100,000. About one-third of the respondents provided health insurance to their employees.

  • 89 percent of respondents felt the cost of prescription drugs is too high
  • 75 percent said the cost of providing health coverage for their employees has increased in the past four years, with 48 percent saying it has gone up by 7 percent or more
  • 29 percent said they have considered dropping their employees’ health coverage, with 78 percent citing its cost
  • 55 percent said health care costs have delayed growth opportunities, with more than one-third delaying new hires or changing or reducing their health coverage; 15 percent cut staff due to health care costs
  • 40 percent said they had increased the price of their products or services due to health care costs
  • 87 percent considered it important for the Biden administration and Congress to take steps to lower the cost of prescription drugs
  • More than 80 percent supported potential solutions such as capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare, policies that eliminate anti-competitive behaviors and patent abuses, allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies, or prohibiting drug companies from raising prices faster than inflation

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