It’s been the chief complaint against Washington from the business community: uncertainty, they say, is killing the economy. And they pointed to Court’s pending decision on health-care as a prime example.
“In general, hurdles on business are hurdles of the unknown,” Steve Van Andel, chairman of Amway, told me in May. He singled out Obamacare as a prime example: “No one knows what it’s going to cost, and it’s going to slow everything down in that arena,” he said.
The Chamber of Commerce has been banging the same drum. “Fundamental disagreement among the lower courts over the health care law adds another layer of uncertainty for employers trying to cope in our struggling economy,” the U.S. Chamber’s general counsel said in October. “This type of uncertainty undermines the ability of American businesses to plan for the future, and to make informed decisions on growth and hiring.”
Now that the Supreme Court has finally ruled, do businesses feel any better—and do they expect the economy to pick up accordingly? It depends on who you talk to.
Wells Capital chief investment officer Jim Paulsen believes that there’s an economic upside to the ruling—and that the new certainty outweighs the potential downside. He explains to Morning Money’s Ben White
[W]hatever you think about the bill— good and bad—the fact that we kept it and now know the ‘rules of the road’ going forward for a while, I think is ‘good’ for the economy. Business can now start making decisions, making adjustments and planning. … That is, the ‘bad’ of this legislation I think is better than the ’uncertainty’ created by whether it would be thrown out or not.
But not everyone believes that the Court’s ruling has provided significant clarity. There’s still lingering confusion over the intricacies of the law. “It’s a large [law],” Bob Jensenius, executive vice president of Pennsylvania’s York County Chamber of Commerce, told a local paper. “People are still trying to see what’s in it.” Republican vows of repeal could leave lingering questions for businesses about the law’s fate. As Ezra explains this morning, the “implementation uncertainty” surrounding the law will continue to linger for years. Sarah dug deeper into some of those questions this weekend.