With only four stops left on the Drive for Our Lives bus tour, the bus made a stop in Bangor, Maine on Thursday morning.
Maine played a crucial role in saving the Affordable Care Act from repeal in July, but folks aren’t letting up a single inch. They’re still sharing their stories, contacting their representatives, and attending events like the one we held in Bangor to protect our care.
In Bangor, we met Elisabeth, a small business owner in the area, who relies on the Affordable Care Act.
“I am the mother of two wonderful daughters and I am a small business owner in Bangor, Maine. These give me two compelling reasons to be grateful for the Affordable Care Act.
My daughter was born with a pre-existing condition. She is 18 years old and has had 13 major surgeries—nearly one every year. She is healthy and stable now, but it is a terrifying prospect that even if I have health insurance, if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, my daughter might not be able to get health care coverage. What’s more, once she is no longer eligible for the families health insurance, she could be denied health insurance for the rest of her life. Hasn’t she suffered enough hardship already?
Repealing the Affordable Care Act would also harm me as a small business owner. Health insurance marketplaces gave people who work full-time for small businesses the first real opportunity to access health care. Previously, for most small businesses, the pool was too small and the administrative costs were too high for small employers to be able to provide group health insurance to their employees and their families. Today, however, many small business employees in Bangor are able to access health insurance through the marketplace at a reasonable cost.
I started a business because I felt that it would personally be fulfilling and because I could contribute to the community. It is extremely rewarding to be able to create jobs, not to mention tax revenues that provide public services. For both economic and personal moral reasons, I must treat my employees right and repealing the Affordable Care Act would make this significantly more difficult. Small businesses and their employees have benefited tremendously from the Affordable Care Act and we can’t afford to go backward.”