Small Business Owners Call on Sens. Collins and King to Reject Kavanaugh for SCOTUS
Deliver letter signed by over 100 small business owners urging a "No" vote
Citing concerns with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's history of hostility towards the Affordable Care Act (ACA), small business owners gathered in Portland today to call on Senators Collins and King to oppose seating President Trump's nominee to the bench. Speakers delivered a letter signed by more than 100 small business owners from across the state to the senators urging them to vote no.
Attendees shared their fears that a Kavanaugh appointment would jeopardize access to affordable health care, threatening the lives and livelihoods of thousands of small business owners, their workers, and the communities they serve.
"Before the Affordable Care Act, I worked two jobs two support my family. At one, I partnered with my husband to start up our sustainable design and building firm. But because I couldn't find affordable health insurance as a small business owner, I needed a second job to make sure we had access to health care," said Emily Ingwersen, co-owner of Ginger Hill Design & Build in Arundel.
"It pains and terrifies me that President Trump has nominated a judge for the Supreme Court who is so hostile to the Affordable Care Act," said Ingwerson. "We cannot go back to allowing insurers to discriminate against people the 53% of Mainers with preexisting conditions, or make it harder to afford coverage if you are a woman, or a senior, or have a chronic health condition. A vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh would be a slap in the face to small business owners across Maine."
Nationally one out of every five people enrolled in the ACA is a small business owner, many of whom otherwise would not have been able to start or grow their businesses. It has also helped them to hire and retain the most qualified employees, regardless of whether or not those employees have pre-existing conditions.
In 2011, as a sitting judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion arguing that the President is not obligated to enforce a law that he believes is unconstitutional, which would allow President Trump to decline to enforce parts of the health care law should he choose to. Last fall in a speech to the Heritage foundation, criticized the Supreme Court ruling that the ACA's individual mandate was constitutional.
A number of cases pertaining to the Affordable Care Act could be heard by the Supreme Court in the coming year, including Texas v. Azar, which would invalidate the ACA in its entirety and jeopardize protections for people with preexisting conditions. It's estimated that 590,000 Mainers, roughly 45 percent of the state's population, live in a household where someone suffers from a preexisting condition.
"For many small business owners, the Affordable Care Act has allowed them to pursue the American dream, to create the small businesses that are the backbone of Maine communities, and our state's economy," said Adam Zuckerman, the director of the Maine Small Business Coalition (MSBC), which represents over 4,000 Maine small business owners. "The ACA has allowed small business owners to focus on growing their businesses rather than worrying about whether a health emergency will force them to close their businesses or lay off their employees. A vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh puts all that in peril."