Even after months of aggressive outreach, a new survey shows just how far the Obama administration has to go to convince small business owners that the health care law will benefit them.
A new Gallup survey found that about half of small business owners still believe that Affordable Care Act will be "bad for business." Some are holding off on hiring or scaling back workers' hours in anticipation.
The survey of 600 owners of small businesses with revenues of $20 million or less, revealed that only nine percent of them believe that the legislation will be good for their business. Just five percent of respondents expect health care costs to decrease as a result of the law's implentation. Many of the law's requirements go into effect in 2014.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, almost half, at 48 percent, believe that ACA will be bad for their business and the majority, at 55 percent, expect their businesses' health care costs to increase. At the same time, 52 percent said they believe that the law will actually reduce the quality of health care.
According to Gallup, "this overall impression of the ACA is consistent with owners' tendency to be more Republican than Democratic, higher income, more against big government, more conservative, and less optimistic than Americans overall."
Four in 10 survey respondents said they've already curtailed hiring or spending. While a quarter of small business owners contemplate dropping health insurance coverage for their employees, about one in five have cut jobs or workers' hours.
President Obama has repeatedly come out swinging and did so again after the survey was released, accusing his political adversaries of mounting a misinformation campaign to sway public opinion.
It's a battle he's been fighting for several years, amid the complexity of the law and the uncertainty swirling around it. The White House has previously attempted to shape the public's perception of ACA and commissioned a report by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) on how small businesses suffer economically under the current health care system versus the ACA legislation. Specifically, the administration attempted to dispel the perception that the legislation would increase coverage prices and gain support of small businesses by drawing their attention to the small business health care tax credit included in the legislation and demonstrating how different types of Main Street businesses would benefit.