Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, OR, recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to help President Obama draw attention to new features of the health care reform bill that are going into effect. In an interview, Houser said that he has always provided health insurance for his employees. But, in recent years the cost has soared. “It’s been a 100 percent increase in seven years,” Houser said. “It way outstripped (price hikes) on everything else. It’s become almost crippling."
Below is the article as it appeared on The Oregonian website.
Portland mechanic helps Obama sell health care reform
Charles Pope, The Oregonian
September 22, 2010
WASHINGTON Jim Houser is best known in Portland as a skilled mechanic and for the auto repair shop he and his wife have owned since 1983.
But on Wednesday, Houser traveled across the country to be something else a robust salesman for the health care reform law that remains unpopular as an election approaches.
The 64-year-old Houser, who owns Hawthorne Auto Clinic, stood with Obama and eight others to highlight what they said were the benefits of health care reform.
The event took place one day short of the law’s sixth-month anniversary.
Houser was more than willing to share his story of a small business owner being squeezed by the cost of health insurance.
He provides full coverage for the nine full-time employees in his shop. The tax breaks included in the law, Houser said will essentially lower his premiums by $12,000 and $15,000.
"That’s like going back to 2008. It’s like a time machine for our premiums," he said.
To read the entire article, visit The Oregonian website at http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/09/portland_mechanic_helps_obama.html.