Small-business owners, safety-net clinics await Supreme Court decision on health care; hope for different results
We first introduced you to Christine and Rick Brown last February. The Browns run a small business providing designated drivers for those too drunk to wheel their own vehicles. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
We first introduced you to Christine and Rick Brown last February. The Browns run a small business providing designated drivers for those too drunk to wheel their own vehicles.
“Call us mom and dad!” Christine told us last winter.
The president’s health-care overhaul forced Americans like the Browns who can’t rely on a corporate employer to provide insurance to purchase their own – something Christine said they couldn't afford.
“It’s just so out of reach,” she said. “It’s out of touch with reality.”
One Boise man who applauded the president’s reforms was Dr. Ted Epperly.
“If the Affordable Care Act gets repealed,” Epperly said, “it’ll make our job harder.”
Epperly runs the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho and used to preside over the American Academy of Family Physicians. He’d met the president six times and worried for his patients should the Supreme Court repeal health-care reform.
“If the Affordable Care Act goes down,” he said, “we’ve got a mess.”
Safety-net clinics like Epperly’s treat Medicaid and Medicare recipients, the uninsured, refugees and anyone who can’t find health care elsewhere. The Affordable Care Act brings those centers additional funding, allowing them to help an estimated twice as many patients within five years.
Christine wanted that same bill repealed, but said she did support broader health-care reforms.
Just not this one.
“If they don’t bring those insurance premiums down,” Christine said, “small businesses cannot afford it. It’ll send the small business right out.”
One finds the schism driven into this nation by perhaps the most polarizing piece of legislation since Civil Rights on display - in Christine and Epperly - right here at home, each side believing the wrong decision on the part of the Supreme Court will set back our union for years to come.
“The Affordable Care Act is something that I think is very good for the people of not only our county and our city and our state,” Epperly said, “but also for the United States.”
“The small business is the heart and soul of Idaho,” Christine said. “It’s what keeps people going.”
The Supreme Court is expected to release its decision in the next week.