Auburn small business owner and Main Street Alliance member, Jason Miller, believes health care is “a basic human right.” He stood up for this value yesterday, at a joint press event between Main Street Alliance of Washington and partner organization WashingtonCAN.
According to Jason, protecting health care is what’s best for his business. He explained: “As a small business owner, I see everyday the importance of a healthy community. When people are secure in their health and wellbeing, and have access to affordable healthcare, they can also afford to support their local economy, which lifts everybody up.”
Jason has owned Jason’s Coffee Shop in downtown Auburn for 13 years. For him, the fight over health care has been personal.
Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Jason’s mother and father-in-law were forced into bankruptcy by out of control medical costs. His father-in-law suffered from liver cirrhosis, as his mother-in-law fought two rounds of breast cancer.
“This was made all the more devastating by the sheer cost of insurance and treatment,” Jason said. “They paid $1,800 a month in premiums, on top of a $7,000 deductible.”
For Jason, their story is a stark reminder of the not-so-far-off past, how much progress has been made by the ACA, and what’s at stake with the current fight over repealing the landmark legislation.
“Back then, there was nothing protecting people with pre-existing conditions from price-gouging. There was no guarantee of essential benefits, like breast cancer screenings and treatment. And before the Medicaid expansion, insurance was completely inaccessible to too many.”
“Makes me wonder why you would want to go back,” Jason remarked.