Transcript: Brian England on how the health care law helps small businesses

Remarks by Brian England, a small business owner, on why he supports the Affordable Care Act (March 23, 2012):

“Thank you for the opportunity to come here today. And as you can see, we are a family business. And this is Lucas. He is going to be two soon. We are committed to offering health insurance to our employees. But over the past 10 years, it has become a real struggle. We have been accustomed to rates going up anywhere from 10 to 20 percent. And it has been very difficult to find different ways to deal with that.

“We have got a great agent that really works hard to give us different options, but it still ends up that we have to pay the bill. Then we renew our insurance in August, so we start thinking about this in May. And, well, standing up here is really nerve wracking. Well, that is what it was like this year, because we had heard the previous year that rates were going to go up 20%, 30%. All sorts of scary things were going to happen. So when my wife Jennifer and I sat down with the agent in front of us, we were pretty nervous about it, because we pay $70,000 a year for health insurance for our employees. So if it was going to go up 30 percent, that is $20,000. And that is the same amount of money as employing an apprentice. That is a lot of money. And where was it going to come from? So we sat down, and it was just total disbelief when he said it was going to go down 6% – 6% down.

“So we made no major changes to our group. It is the same insurance company, same average age. Everything was the same, and it was going down. So it was just unbelievable news. On top of this, there was going to be a new package in our insurance that allowed for all our employees on the plan to get preventive care with no co-pay. So that was a real boon.

“The first thing I asked: ‘why?’ You know, our agent explained it was the medical loss ratio. Well, that sounded like Chinese to me. I didn’t know what that was about. In any case, I did research it, and it means that 80% of my premiums are actually going to go to medical care. That seems amazing. That is what it is about. So our rates went down.

“As a small business owner, I am committed to providing good value to our customers. It seems only fair that insurance companies should provide us good value. You can see how nervous I am…

“So we are so glad something is being done about the health care. I want to thank, Leader Pelosi, very much for what you have done. I know this is a very risky thing. I saw what happened, so I really appreciate you doing this. This is so important. I know it hasn’t been easy. But you know, the health care is working for my business. It works in our community, with the local health improvement part. It is working for individuals. It is right for America, and it is right for future generations. It passes this technician’s inspection test with flying colors.

“Thank you very much.”


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