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Healthcare, eh?

I’m deeply disappointed in the vote out of the Senate today.

We’re a small business. We have paid for our own health insurance since 2002. We’re very lucky – neither of us has any major issues. Before ACA went into effect I worried about what would happen if one of us were to become sick. Would we fall afoul of our lifetime limits? Due to a rare cancer, my mother hit those back before I graduated college. Would our coverage be pulled because I didn’t mention the broken wrist from when I was 3? There were so many questions, and so many unknowns.

I watched the cost of our insurance go up and up. We bought a house in the Bay Area, and our health insurance was nearly 2/3 of our mortgage payment. Every year the price went up a little more, and the benefits went down.

Then ACA happened. I could stop worrying about lifetime limits and rescission. Our premiums dropped by hundreds of dollars a month. The costs of our monthly prescriptions plummeted to near zero.

Then Trumpcare and massive amounts of turmoil in the markets. Our group provider cancelled our policy and I’ve spent the last two months or so working with insurance agents to get ourselves covered. Our provider gave us 60 days notice. It wasn’t enough to ensure continual coverage. We were finally approved last week, with better coverage and lower premiums than we were paying pre-ACA.

I worry, though, about what happens to us if Trumpcare passes. Will premiums go back to where they were preACA? Will the small business market just evaporate? I don’t need a tax cut near as much as I need to know that the healthcare markets will be stable.

I want to focus on the things I’m good at. I know there’s a certain amount of administrative overhead related to being a small business owner and that these things are unavoidable. But still, there doesn’t seem to be any real benefit to blowing up health care in this underhanded fashion.

We are some of the folks who will get a tax break – not a huge one but we will be a beneficiary. I don’t think it will be enough to counter the jump in premiums – even if the premiums just go back to where they were pre-ACA.

I know policy is hard; I do it for a living. I know it’s not fun to watch the sausage being made – I grew up in DC. ACA has issues. But from my point of view the current healthcare debate is doing nothing to actually fix the issues. Instead, they’re making everything worse. Long term? We have options and money; we’ll probably be fine. But there are a lot of people who don’t have the options we do, and they’re going to be hurt.

This is bad policy, bad lawmaking and bad for small businesses like mine.

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