Just how far short are small business owners in terms of knowledge when it comes to the healthcare laws? According to a recently released survey done by the Wall Street Journal, 66% of small business owners had no idea if their company qualified for a for a small-business health-care tax credit first available in 2010, as part of the Affordable Care Act. According to the Government Accountability Office, only 170,000 small businesses took advantage of the credit, when in fact millions were supposed to have been eligible.
Diving deeper into the numbers, the survey was conducted amongst the high earning small businesses, limited to the heads of businesses with annual revenue between $1 million and $20 million. If the people who run businesses that generate millions of dollars don't have any clue as to what's in the healthcare bills, you can image how little insight the every day mom and pop stores will have. In their case, ignorance may be bliss in that they're too small to qualify anyway, but it strikes a larger point as to the long road from legislation to actually helping the owners that need it.
What's ironic is that the administration set up an e ntire website dedicated to explaining what's in the healthcare bill and what it means not only for small businesses but individuals as well. There's a Facebook page (with just over 12K fans) and a Twitter following with over 50,000 followers. Case study videos from real people talking about how they have taken advantage of the credit are up on the site. A link to the IRS website even outlines how to specifically take advantage of the credit come tax time, and how to claim it on your tax return. You can say a lot of things about the current administration, but holding back on information when it comes to the ACA is not one of them.
Be it the lack of uncertainty around the bill's standing, the provisions in it, or the actual details pertaining to small businesses in the national media, the information is clearly not getting into the hands of the people who need it, despite being there.