Vice President Pence Listens to NFIB Members on Healthcare

Date: June 08, 2017

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.

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Five NFIB members from across the country had the Vice President’s ear: Pat Felder, owner of Felder’s Collision Parts in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Kelly Moore, co-owner and vice president of GKM Auto Parts in Zanesville, Ohio; Amy Pope-Wells, president of Link Staffing Services in Jacksonville, Florida; Tracie Sanchez, president of Lima Pallet Company in Lima, Ohio; and Gina Martin, founder and vice president of Little Rock Tours, from Little Rock, Arkansas.

“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.

Moore shared her struggle with premiums increasing 22 percent in 2016, continuing a trend of double digit increases for healthcare year after year.

“I have good employees,” Moore said. “I think of them as family. It was gut-wrenching to tell them that I was ending their benefit of insurance.”

Moore said she explored all of the options before finally dropping coverage: potentially laying off one employee to continue coverage for the others, splitting the premium, and dropping spousal coverage.

“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,” said Amy Pope-Wells. “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.”

Pope-Wells said the companies with which she works are experiencing similar hardships. “I think all of us saw somewhere around a 25 percent increase,” she said. “So as a small business, you have to make budgetary decisions. But part of that is not just the decision of the budget, but then how it impacts all those employees. We have about 85 or so contractors in the field and a staff of six that support them. That’s just the beginning of it.”

NFIB continues to advocate for healthcare that’s affordable, flexible, and predictable for small businesses.

 

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