My interest in healthcare policy started when my husband, Rob, and I owned The Vault restaurant in Houlton. Our insurance premium as a self-employed couple was $1900 a month...for a plan with a $6500 per person out-of-pocket maximum. In 2016, our total healthcare costs were over $30,000, which is unsustainable when you own a business that has small margins to start. As a result, in 2017, we made the difficult decision to close the restaurant and for me to return to a job with employer-provided healthcare benefits.
You might wonder why we didn't just pay the ACA penalty and be done with it. We didn't because our prescription medications totaled more than $3300 a month. Buying insurance was the cheaper option, believe it or not.
I've heard countless anecdotes about how unaffordable healthcare can be from people in District 144 -- and heartbreaking stories about how people struggle to manage when misfortune does strike. I know that we can do better by putting people ahead of profits in our healthcare system!