AHCA will close small businesses | Letter

Years of rolling out dough have taken a toll on my hands. As the owner of Forest Fairy Bakery in downtown Issaquah, that ache in my hands represents a lot — the joy of hard work, and the challenges of running my own business.

Right now, with health care hanging in the balance as the Senate quickly and secretly pushes through the American Health Care Act (AHCA), I face an especially daunting challenge. Do I buy the $5,000 piece of equipment I need to roll out the dough for me, or do I hang onto the money to pay for health care in the near future?

Small business owners like I shouldn’t be given the ultimatum between buying new equipment or affording health care. My bakery is truly family owned and operated — all my employees are my family members. And we all rely on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for health insurance, which we were able to get through Applecare’s Medicaid expansion under the ACA. In neighborhoods across this country, there are very few real bakeries like mine left. Without the ACA, we will probably cease to exist as well. If the Republicans add a burden like the AHCA to small businesses, they’re ensuring that Main Street disappears.

Linda Hays