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Small business roundtable in Rochester

Healthcare is a big topic among small business owners, as well as in Minnesota's First Congressional District Race.

Posted: Oct. 23, 2018 9:55 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Many of our communities thrive on small businesses, yet those companies are the ones that often face the most challenges.

Former and current small business owners gathered on Tuesday in Rochester for a roundtable.

It takes big risks to dive into small business, and it's especially risky when it comes to money and health insurance coverage.

Matt Fursa co-owns D6 Games in Rochester, and doesn't have health insurance.

He's like many small business owners that faces challenges, one of them being able to pay for their own health insurance, as well as cover their employees.

According to the United States Census Bureau, 28.5 million people did not have health insurance in 2017.

Andrew Pruett and his wife are two people that didn't take the risk of owning a small business because of this.

"One of the biggest reasons my wife and I did not quit our full time jobs to go and do the thing that we loved very much, which was beekeeping ya know full time on our own, was because we were afraid," Pruett said. "We were afraid of what would happen if we got hurt. What would happen if we both ended up in the hospital."

Healthcare is a big topic in Minnesota's First Congressional District Race.

DFL candidate Dan Feehan spoke at Tuesday's roundtable, and thinks coverage should start with a common goal.

"Everyone deserves affordable healthcare," Feehan said, "and that's a principle we are not adhering to as a country. I think the biggest solution starts with providing more options to it. One option is to introduce a public option, that allows people to buy into Medicare."

Republican candidate Jim Hagedorn campaigned in Houston County Tuesday. However, we caught up with him on the issue when President Trump came to Rochester. His viewpoint is very different than Feehan's.

"They [Democrats] want socialized medicine," Hagedorn said. "What would that do for the city of Rochester, Olmsted County, and Southern Minnesota? You're talking about the government coming in and basically running the system. That's going to change the model for Mayo, that's going to put at risk about 40,000 jobs right here in this area. What's going to happen to their wages? What's going to happen to their benefits?"

It's worth the discussion, given the fact that every year more than a million people from all over the world come to Mayo Clinic for care.

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