Jonathan Fulford: When Senator Collins voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, she voted to discriminate against cancer survivors like me

Johnathan Fulford

After graduating high school, I started a small farm with my brother in Monroe. After having my first child, I started a building company, and I have spent the last 30 years raising a family and building a business—and building houses.

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Jonathan Werbel: Before the ACA, I was completely uninsurable

The only thing I really care about is boats. I grew up on boats. My grandfather was in the fruit importing business. He had a boat called The Banana Queen that brought him so much luck in business, he named his second boat the Banana Queen 2. My mother went into labor with me while on the Queen 2, so the family story is that I was on a boat when I decided to be born.

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Jenny Newman-Arruda: There's no cure, but I have the health care coverage I need

Jenny Newman-Arruda

In 2008, my business partner and I opened up TL6 the Gallery for local artists and designers. Our gallery and other new local businesses have helped revitalize New Bedford.

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Chris Petersen: The ACA meant I could purchase quality, affordable health care that did not exclude pre-existing conditions

I’ve been an independent family farmer for most of my life, raising crops, livestock and local foods in rural Iowa. I’m gravely concerned with Congress’ latest health care game-playing. We farmers are looking at, once again, being priced out of health insurance.

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ReShonda Young: Keeping my life-threatening condition in check

I started fighting for the ACA in 2009, when I was actually running my dad’s small businesses. We had been searching for insurance for years, and preexisting conditions were the biggest stumbling block. The failed system that was in place made it unaffordable for us to provide health insurance for our employees. The policies we were shown also denied health benefits for several of our employees due to pre-existing medical conditions.

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Susan Lyon: Attacks on protections for people with pre-existing conditions are putting my business at risk

Susan Lyon

Attacks on protections for people with pre-existing conditions are putting my business at risk and endangering my livelihood, that of my husband, as well as the livelihoods of the nine full-time, professional-level staff we employ at Lyon.

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Marcia St. Hilaire-Finn: The FAMILY Act would ensure that high quality caregivers can keep their jobs

Marcia St. Hilaire-FinnFor my staff, caring for children is a labor of love, but it is also grueling work. In return for the work they do, I think it’s important to ensure that my employees can care for themselves and their families. That’s why they have paid sick days, vacation time and health insurance.

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Aaron Seyedian: Paid leave shouldn't depend on where you live or who you work for

Aaron SeyedianOwning a small business doesn’t exempt you from the realities of everyday life. If anything, it makes you keenly aware of them. People get sick or injured. They start families. Their family members – children, parents and partners – need to be cared for. Ignoring the inevitable only puts our businesses at risk, jeopardizing our livelihoods and those of our employees.

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Ricky Klein: Your family comes first

Ricky Klein

Before the very first bubble came through an airlock at our meadery, we had already written rules: “Your family comes first.” Providing paid family and medical leave to our employees was never a question for us. We wanted to create good jobs so people in our community could support their families. We are employers first, and our business just happens to be making a fermented honey beverage called mead.

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Dreya Moore: Passing the FAMILY Act is an urgent need for small businesses

Dreya MooreWhen I left my corporate pharmaceutical job to become a small business owner in Lancaster, PA, I never thought of it as a family planning decision. But having run my art gallery for two years now, and given the state of our family leave crisis in this country, I don’t know how I could have another child and keep my business open.

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