More Than Obamacare Repeal, Small Businesses Want Congress to Rein In Costs

“We thought, ‘Thank God,’” Ms. Swenson said of the Affordable Care Act’s continuation. “We’re not young. The car is starting to break down a bit. If we lost this policy, we might not be able to get another.”

As a bloc, small-business owners have been among the health care law’s most vocal opponents. The most powerful trade group for small businesses, the National Federation of Independent Business, is a fierce critic of the law and challenged its constitutionality before the Supreme Court. Some 60 percent of small-business owners want the law repealed, according to two recent surveys by Manta and BizBuySell, which regularly poll owners about their political and economic views.

But every business is uniquely affected by the complex law, and simply demolishing it without putting new guardrails in place is not, for most, the ideal outcome. Small-business owners overwhelmingly say they want Republican and Democratic leaders to quit their partisan bickering, acknowledge that the country’s health care economics are fundamentally broken, and work together on fixing the problem.

“The cost of health care had a significant impact on our profitability last year,” said Tom McManus, 46, the chief executive of KegWorks, a bar supplies retailer in Buffalo. “Obamacare made it worse, but I didn’t see anything in the new bill that would have made it any better. They need to focus on the real health care problem: cost.”

For Thomas E. Secor, who runs the small manufacturing business Durable Corporation in Norwalk, Ohio, every annual renewal of his company’s health insurance plan since the Affordable Care Act took effect has felt like spinning a roulette wheel.

Durable Corporation’s plan, which Mr. Secor said had worked well for the company’s 37 employees, omits some benefits that are required to meet the health…

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