Vice President Mike Pence convened a listening session with female entrepreneurs on Monday at the White House to hear how rising premiums were affecting their businesses.
Among those in the Roosevelt Room was NFIB/Florida Leadership Council Member: Amy Pope-Wells, president of Link Staffing Services in Jacksonville, Florida. There were also four other NFIB members from across the country: Pat Felder, owner of Felder’s Collision Parts in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Gina Martin, founder and vice president of Little Rock Tours, from Little Rock, Arkansas; Kelly Moore, co-owner and vice president of GKM Auto Parts in Zanesville, Ohio, and Tracie Sanchez, president of Lima Pallet Company in Lima, Ohio.
“I am honored to be able to welcome you here for an ongoing discussion from some of the great women entrepreneurs across this country about the President’s determination and the need to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Pence told those gathered. “We appreciate you coming to bring your real-world experience. I look very much forward to hearing your perspective and hearing how best we can carry this message to the Congress and to the country.”
Pence shared his own experience running a small business as a radio show host. He also addressed the challenges Obamacare has presented for small business owners. “Obamacare is putting a tremendous business [burden], as you all know, on small businesses across this country with its reams of red tape, skyrocketing premium costs, mandates, and taxes that have been costing jobs and costing growth in this economy,” Pence said during the session.
Next, the vice president asked Pope-Wells to share her story. “Amy Pope-Wells is the owner of Link Staffing Services in Jacksonville, Florida,” Pence said. “We’ve had the opportunity to meet in the past and know what a dynamic business leader you are, but the hardship that you’ve faced—not only in your own business but in the businesses that you serve that are facing the impact of the cost of healthcare following Obamacare. It’s a story that needs to be told.”
Pope-Wells said that her business took a 25 percent premium increase. “But then the quagmire of the rules and regulations start. We found ourselves having to spend—everybody in our office spending time on benefits management: medical procedures being denied, people not understanding the rules or the processes. We got into the insurance business. We physically had to learn how to educate and support our team, and we’re not in the insurance business….So it’s been a challenge that I believe us, as Americans, should start simplifying and figure out how to fix it better. Because we want a healthy population.”