ReShonda Young, owner of Popcorn Heaven in Waterloo, IA
"The Republican tax law is not what my business needs to create jobs and grow. I’ve talked with my accountant, and the nominal tax cut I might receive won’t cause me to grow my business or hire more employees.
"In fact, this tax law makes me worried more than anything. I’m worried about my employees and customers access to quality, affordable healthcare. In order to pay for the tax cuts to wealthy corporations, Republicans are sabotaging the ACA by repealing the individual mandate. Coupled with other effort by the Trump Administration, including the expansion of short-term and junk health plans, premiums are increasing by double digit numbers, while the quality of coverage is decreasing.
"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.
"Knowing that most of our employees had no health insurance in place, and had no way of paying for it on their own, was a huge concern for us. We knew that an illness or an accident could put our employees in a situation where they had to choose between getting the medical care that they need, and paying their rent/mortgage, putting food on the table or keeping the heating on during cold Iowa winters. Those aren't choices anyone should have to make.
"After passage of the ACA, we were able to put a plan place for our employees that did not exclude their pre-existing conditions. When I opened Popcorn Heaven in 2014, I was grateful to have an affordable health insurance option for my employees.
"To go back to where we started from doesn’t make any sense. Our Members of Congress, and especially Representative Rod Blum, need to start making some smart decisions, and undermining access to lifesaving healthcare to give trillions of dollars in tax cuts to their wealthy donors is NOT one. It is putting us into a tailspin."
ReShonda Young is the owner of a gourmet popcorn franchise called Popcorn Heaven. Popcorn Heaven is headquartered in Waterloo, IA with locations in Des Moines, IA; Kansas City, MO; Peoria, IL; Charlotte, NC and soon in Waldorf, MD. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Main Street Alliance, a national small business network.