Small business owner worried about future of Obamacare without repeal

"It's a worry you wake up in the middle of the night and you're thinking."

NEW ORLEANS -- It's been tough for millions of Americans who had been struggling to pay for Obamacare, now the failure of a bill to repeal it are leaving many in doubt.

"It's a worry. You wake up in the middle of the night," said Karen Hutchison, owner of Urban Suite Salon & Spa.

Eyewitness News spoke with the small business owner and single mother a year ago. Back then, she was facing the rising cost of the Affordable Care Act. 

"We're looking at this healthcare situation and yes I'm nervous, I'm concerned," she told us back in October.

This year, she says the premiums are still high, but she's been able to make it work so that both she and her daughter get coverage.

"Obama care has given us the subsidy, has given us -- given me -- an entrepreneur, a break," she said.

With the repeal failing, Hutchison is again losing sleep over the instability of health coverage.

"In many cases, the premium is more than a penalty," said Catherin Hales, with Gillis, Ellis, and Baker, a firm that manages insurance policies.

Hales says some people feel as though there is no hope for affordable health insurance reform at all.

"Instead of the conversation being how do we repeal it or fix it why not just let the current plan just explode on its own or implode and then take whatever is left and fix that," Hales said.

Senate Republicans hoping to push through a repeal can now either try again or work on a compromise.  In the meantime, Hales says the next year comes with more obstacles.

"Less options cost more, not only less options as far as insurance companies go, but less options within the insurance companies on the exchanges," she said.

But it all comes down to what can people afford to pay.

"You know I've considered that, maybe I should drop out the healthcare and then take the penalty on my taxes, but you never know what you're going to come up on," Hutchison said.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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