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“My name is JC and I live [in Speaker Paul Ryan’s Congressional District] in Wisconsin with my husband and two college-aged children.  I would like to tell you why the Affordable Care Act has been key to my husband’s recent success starting up his own business

My husband had been employed as Vice President of a small business.  Every year, he was involved in looking into health insurance for the company.  The premiums increased every year by 20 to 25% (this was before the ACA), resulting in decisions to decrease coverage and increase out-of-pocket costs and deductions.  When ACA passed, my husband found ACA coverage for the company. It was far less costly than the previous coverage. 

In 2014, the company, due to financial difficulties dropped [health] coverage. I work at a non-profit organization.  I have worked here for many years, working with people with disabilities and the elderly. It is a great organization. I was able to sign up for coverage here, but the non-profit cannot afford to offer coverage to families. …

My husband and two college students have pre-existing conditions.  We would not be able to afford my husband’s or daughter’s medication and medical care if we had no coverage.  My husband went to and signed the three of them up for an Affordable Care Act marketplace plan. 

In September of 2014, my husband was laid off from his job.  He started looking for work, but finding employment when you are in your 50’s is not easy. … Finally, he decided [he] would start his own business….going for the American Dream!  We are very lucky; he’s been very successful.  I’ll tell you, he could never have done this without having health insurance through the [ACA] Marketplace. 

If the ACA is repealed, we will be without healthcare and one of us will need to leave a job we love or end the dream of owning a business and try to find employer sponsored healthcare.  If people don’t have healthcare security, if we have to rely on employer sponsored insurance, an America of small business entrepreneurs is almost an impossibility. Healthy, insured citizens can make America great.”

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