Tom Secor, of Willard and president of Durable Corporation in Norwalk, got that opportunity Wednesday afternoon when Vice President Mike Pence visited the Cleveland area.
Secor was invited because of his involvement in the National Federation of Independent Business.
The group talked about insurance the the Affordable Care Act.
Plain and simple, Secor said, the ACA is killing small businesses. He said a third of the small businesses in America are not hiring and half are not giving raises. He said he heard of a business hiring more people then cutting them all back to 29 hours to avoid the ACA.
Secor said Durable offers insurance not compliant with the ACA and every year his employees are not sure if they will have insurance if Durable is forced to use ACA.
The difference? Secor said the insurance Durable offers has a $3,000 deductible. The ACA deductibles are anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000, Secor said.
“That’s not insurance,” he said.
“What some people said is you get a doctor’s visit for $20 or something. But if you get sick or hurt and go to the hospital you are on the hook. That’s a lot of money. What would you do. I know our people here. There’s no way. That’s some of the stuff you are not seeing discussed.
“Once the ACA was passed it was about expanding coverage but not about costs. What are doctors charging? You can get an app on your phone that tells you how much the gas prices are in a 20-mile radius.
“We need to get transparancy and competition (in the healthcare field).”
Secor said he is thrilled Pence has a concern for the small guys. Being the former governor of Indiana, Secor said the vice president knows all about life in the rural area.
“I think it was fantastic he came here. It was nice to see him come to a small shop. There wasn’t any huge organization. He gets it. He understands the driving force behind job creation is in the small-business secor. They need job creation and they need wage increases. When you have people from these huge urban areas they have no idea about us. They never laid a step on the farm. How life works is totally different in a rural setting. About 70 of the 88 counties in our state are rural.
“They get it and to me that is a real positive. We need to create some alliances for small businesses to get better coverages. What if we ended up with a Huron County coverage area? He (Pence) did talk about putting groups together. We have men and women going to work every day and they should not be worried about losing our insurance. Every year we have to wait and see if we can keep our insurance.”
Secor said doing nothing about replacing the ACA is not the answer.
“Hopefully they will get something done. Nobody wants to talk about if something doesn’t pass. Many states have no providers. No place to go. Anthem has walked away recently from Ohio. I don’t have the answers to that. These are all questions. That’s why elected them to figure it out.”
The NFIB is hosting U.S. congressman Jim Jordan Aug. 28 for a breakfast at Sheri’s Coffee House. He will talk about what is going on in Washington and take questions.
“He’s been real active and staying in touch with the community,” Secor said. “He is out there talking to small businesses and finding out what they need. He wants to repeal this and get the states involved. It’s really tough to regulate this in Washington.
“It’s just not working. Maybe Ohio does it this way and Mississippi does it this way. Neither is wrong. I am a real proponenet of getting a lot of this decision making back to the state to get a better quality product for the people.”