Retailers, factories, Main Street react to Supreme Court ruling

Supporters of the healthcare law celebrate outside the Supreme Court after the justices' ruling.
Supporters of the healthcare law celebrate outside the Supreme Court after the justices’ ruling.
(David Goldman / Associated Press)

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act, which held President Obama’s healthcare overhaul to be constitutional, sparked an outpouring of both approval and invective from business groups around the country.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it respects the decision but called for more reforms anyway, maintaining that the ruling “does not change the reality that the health care law is fundamentally flawed.”

The Main Street Alliance quoted its members as saying that “this is a good day for small businesses across America ... [that] couldn’t afford to go back to the nightmare scenario” before the healthcare law.

The National Retail Federation, a longtime skeptic of the legislation, said it was “disappointed” and that the court’s ruling will “have a dramatic, negative impact on every employer and employee ... and further constrain job creation and economic growth,” especially in the private sector.

That’s similar to what a “deeply disappointed” Steve Caldeira said. As chief executive of the International Franchise Assn., Caldeira said that the ruling puts 3.2 million jobs at franchised businesses at risk.


His group, he said, will work to repeal the law, which he called “unworkable, unaffordable and wrong for our country’s small business owners who continue to struggle in a still sluggish economic climate.”

Not so, according to the Small Business Majority, which said that upholding the healthcare law’s individual mandate “is a victory” that will “curb costs and boost choice,” especially after health insurance exchanges are set up in each state in 2014.

Lambasting the “political circus that has surrounded this law for the past two years,” the group’s chief executive, John Arensmeyer, said the regulation will help end “job lock” that keeps entrepreneurs tied to their existing positions because of health benefits.

The Tax Foundation, a research group, said the court’s ruling is “flawed” and that “there has been no development in law that necessitates such a far-reaching change.” The group made an amicus curiae brief available online.

The National Assn. of Manufacturers also chipped in, calling the ruling “a dramatic moment in our nation’s history” that “still leaves a lot of work to be done to reduce soaring health care costs.”

The group called on Congress to replace the law with something “more efficient, less costly” that allows insurance to be purchased across state lines and focuses more on preventive medicine.


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