SB business owner called to Congress to testify

A South Bend small business owner is set to testify before Congress in Washington, D.C. this week.

The topic will be the Affordable Care Act: The speaker will be co-owner of First Response Disaster Restoration Specialists.

“I personally am calling for a complete repeal of Obamacare,” Joseph Sergio told NewsCenter 16.

Sergio is one of four speakers set to testify before the Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday afternoon. The Chairman of the Committee is Indiana Senator Dan Coats, while Senator and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is a member.

First Response is in the business of cleaning up damage caused by things like fires and storms. Sergio says he knows ‘disaster’ when he sees it. “I would label this as a disaster, yes, I think this is, in my opinion, it is the worst thing I have seen in my lifetime domestically for the United States.”

For instance, Sergio says he now employs just under 50 workers and if he goes over that amount he’ll face added health insurance coverage obligations under the Affordable Care Act.

“All the consequences around Obamacare are on punishing growth at a time we need jobs we need growth its punishing growth,” Sergio said.
Sergio says if he needs to beef up his staff on a seasonal basis, he’ll likely hire part time workers and keep their hours under 30 per week—to avoid another threshold for the mandatory provision of coverage.

“Common sense says you reward a behavior, an activity, you get more of it: You punish an activity, you get less of it. We well know that we're born that way,” Sergio explained. “And so that's what I'm speaking up on. It's just saying hey, we're feeling it, we're seeing it, this is nonsense, repeal Obamacare.

Sergio says his health insurance premiums went up 25 percent this year, while he had to pass along substantially increased deductibles to employees that include many family members.