Owner of Philly pet store won’t call off the dogs when it comes to fighting ACA repeal
Fifteen years ago, Andrea Deutsch decided to leave her position at a Philadelphia law practice to pursue her dreams of become a small business owner. She opened up a shop in the small town of Narberth, PA called Spot’s—The Place for Paws, where she sells healthy food, treats, toys, and accessories for dogs and cats. Despite starting a new life, this former attorney could not completely sever her ties from the Philadelphia Bar Association. That’s because before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they provided her only health insurance option because of her Type 1 diabetes.
After leaving her position with the law firm, Andrea was grandfathered into the Bar Association’s group plan, and was paying about $1200 a month for her heath insurance. Coupled with her expensive insulin, Andrea was losing out on thousands of dollars per year that she could have invested into her growing business. Over the years she shopped around for alternatives to see if she could save on her costly premiums, but once insurance companies learned of her pre-existing condition, she was told she would not be able to receive coverage at any cost.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, however, Andrea was able to receive coverage similar to her existing plan for less than half the cost.
“For me, it has been a lifeline and a tremendous relief to know that I won't be bankrupted by the simple act of trying to obtain healthcare,” said Andrea.
However, with Congress’s promise to repeal the ACA, Andrea is worried that she will once again be denied insurance and will be unable to afford her life-saving insulin. If this happens, she will be forced to close her business in order to find employment where she can receive proper coverage.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I have received reasonably priced coverage that has allowed me to keep my shop open. Not having to worry about my premiums skyrocketing has contributed to the longevity of my business.”
Andrea is working hard to fight repeal by using her voice to advocate for others who benefit from the law’s pre-existing condition protections.
“Millions of people will be devastated if the pre-existing protections currently in existence are removed or if coverage becomes too expensive to cover those with health matters that must be treated,” she said.
Additionally, Andrea is concerned that repealing the ACA will stifle entrepreneurship and result in the closing of long-standing businesses, like hers, that contribute to the overall economic success of their communities.
“Losing the affordable coverage options offered by the ACA will hinder the development of new small businesses, particularly those whose owners have preexisting conditions. I want lawmakers to listen to real entrepreneurs about how the ACA has benefitted us, and consider the impacts that a repeal would have on businesses, employees and local economies.”
Simply put, Andrea believes that business owners shouldn’t have to choose between their health and their livelihood. We couldn’t agree more.
We want to hear how the Affordable Care Act has impacted small businesses and entrepreneurs so we can make the small business voice heard on this issue and others. Share your story with us in our Healthcare Story Bank.