My Family Needs Affordable Health Care

piggy bankThe economy, this real estate market, and the amount I pay for health insurance are three things that make me want to holler.  

When I started my current job six years ago, I took almost a 50 percent pay cut from my previous employer. It was at a time when the economy was booming. I was at a plush law-firm, making good money and working hard for it. A few weeks before I left the firm, I was told that all associates would receive a mid-year salary adjustment that would have raised my salary almost 25 percent. Yet, I still wrote my letter of resignation.  

My husband's family-owned company was doing so well, it didn't matter that I would take a pay cut. What mattered was moving on to a more rewarding career, one that I was more passionate about, and that afforded me the ability to have more flexibility and time to spend with my three small children.  

Today that story is much different.  

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After the market crashed, so did a lot of my husband's projects. Like most small businesses, they were struggling. They eliminated positions, began changing company protocol, and soon, health insurance was gone. Employees that weren't let go had to leave because they needed the health insurance. But who could blame them, or us? Years of rising health care costs combined with the crumbling economy was crippling the company. Providing health insurance to the employees, even management, resulted in a huge cut of revenue.

Luckily, we were able to switch from his insurance to mine. But, adding the family plan to my benefits resulted in a big cut out of my already much smaller pay check. It almost didn't make sense to work. What was I really taking home? It felt like nothing. I couldn't afford not to work though, because we needed the health insurance. 

When the Affordable Care Act was passed, however, we saw hope for our small family business. It meant the possibility of hiring new employees and offering them better benefits. It meant hopefully getting hundreds of dollars back into my paycheck each month and back into our pockets.     

If the Affordable Care Act is reversed, "our health care costs would more than double to $2.4 trillion by 2018 and 178,000 small business jobs would be lost as a result." That's just two years before my oldest goes to college.  

So what's the most important issue for me this election? Health insurance. Like many families in the U.S., my family is depending on being able to afford sending my kids to the doctor and paying for their prescriptions without breaking the bank. I need a candidate that understands that affordable health insurance is long overdue for our country. Our family needs it and so does small business.  

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other bloggers have to say, read Which Issue Is Most Important to Moms in the 2012 Election?


Image via 401k/Flickr

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