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Voices of Health Reform: Janine’s Story

This series, Voices of Health Reform, highlights how Americans are already benefiting from the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act. This story is about Janine from Washington.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series where readers can meet average Americans already benefiting from the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act.

Janine Marie Vaughn owns a vintage lighting restoration, manufacturing, and retail shop in Spokane, Washington. As a small business owner, she believes providing health insurance is “vital for the health of our business and the health of our employees.” And she’s committed to keeping her employees healthy. As Janine said, “We’re a small business. We care about everybody that works here.”

Janine has been in business for more than a decade and has seen her health insurance costs rise dramatically each year. She also spends a significant amount of time combing through various insurance plans to secure the best possible option for her employees, trying to compare the plans.

The Affordable Care Act is already providing immediate relief to business owners like Janine. Today, small businesses pay 18 percent more for health insurance premiums than large businesses.   The Affordable Care Act changes that by providing tax credits for small businesses that offer employees health insurance.  Up to 4 million small businesses could be eligible for relief from high health insurance premiums and, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office, the tax credit will save small businesses $40 billion by 2019. And small business owners like Janine are benefiting from the tax credit today.

Janine says that the Affordable Care Act has given her more peace of mind. Before it was signed into law in March 2010, she had to think hard about whether she was going to be able to even offer insurance to her employees in the future, but now, the tax credits remove that worry.

And Janine likes how the law helps consumers compare “apples to apples” when searching for insurance plans. You can see more about how the law does this on, which includes an Insurance Finder that compares details about private plans.

Listen to her story:


Stephanie Cutter is Assistant to the President for Special Projects.