Letter: ACA saved our business
We have a 20-year-old small business in Rifle. Being surrounded by ski areas, national forests and other tourist destinations means our cost of living is high, and the cost of health insurance for small business owners is higher. Even prior to 2014, few companies were willing to provide insurance options in a low populace rural area, and those that did charged huge premiums for high-deductible, low-coverage policies. At least three of our past insurers left the state, taking years of our premium payments with them. We paid so much that we were on the verge of choosing between our business and health insurance.
During the Bush recession, our business, like thousands of others in America, struggled, and we considered abandoning our passion for providing clean air and water, as well as alternative energy options, to a community dependent on extractive industry regardless of the hazards to our health and environment. Insurance costs were definitely the deciding factor in whether we would be able to continue our mission, or abandon it in the unlikely hope of finding employment with insurance at our ages.
The Affordable Care Act came to our rescue in 2014. We’re still able to offer clean living options and solar opportunities to our neighbors, local businesses and even our town, which although surrounded by gas drilling, produces the most solar kilowatts per capita of anywhere in the U.S.
We’re on our feet since President Obama pulled us back from the economic precipice and provided a realistic insurance option, so we’re very concerned about the future of our business and our ability to afford health insurance should the ACA in its current form disappear. Anyone who says that Obamacare is bad for small business is ignorant of the facts, does not have an actual small business, or did not obtain their insurance through the Colorado Insurance Exchange, Connect for health CO (Ms. Couey?), as it has been vital to the recovery of ours.
So, thank you again President Obama. We miss your intelligent, honest leadership more every passing day.
PJ Breslin and Craig Chisesi
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