Editor’s note: This commentary is by Melinda Moulton, of Huntington, who is CEO of Main Street Landing.
I am the CEO of a small development company in Burlington. We are committed to creating buildings and landscapes that are beautiful and fun environments that appeal to and welcome everyone. We are committed to creating with a focus on environmentally and socially conscious projects. We are also committed to creating financial viability in our work.
Any small business CEO or owner will tell you the key to business success is proper planning. We would not be able to uphold these commitments to our community, our state and our values, without proper planning. In fact, most of our work is planning so that execution is smooth. Not only do we need to be able to plan our budgets well in advance, we plan rental of our meeting spaces and film house, we plan the ways in which we will use our advertising dollars to give back to our community and promote our office and retail spaces, and we plan how to best support our small staff so that they may lead healthy lives and continue to participate in a thriving Vermont economy.
However, the chaos in Congress makes it impossible for the business I manage to plan its health care expenses. We have eight employees on payroll, and we provide them all quality health care insurance. First, Republicans in the House and Senate proposed a bill that would raise premiums by an average of $2,294 a year. Now they say they want to repeal the ACA outright without a replacement, which the Congressional Budget Office says would double premiums in just a number of years. How are we, business owners and managers, supposed to plan expenses when we have no idea how much we will need to spend on health care for our employees?
I am not alone with my concerns. Over 70 percent of Americans think that the uncertainty with health care policy in this country hurts everyday Americans, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.
Small businesses need certainty in this economy. All we are getting from Congress on health care is chaos. Instead, we need a carefully considered bipartisan effort that improves access to quality health care for all at an affordable and consistent cost — or better yet — let’s move to a single payer, universal health care model and join most other world-class countries across the globe by making sure all Americans have quality health care.