In the national debate about health care, the voices of small-business owners are often eclipsed by partisan rhetoric. As a small-business owner, I’m writing to flag to our politicians that quality, affordable health care is essential for entrepreneurs and their communities. The health care plan moving through the Senate threatens Main Street from all sides.

My husband and I own a small business: a green design and build company for average-income clients like our neighbors here in Maine. We were both born and raised here, and we moved back when it was time to take on two major life challenges – starting a family and starting a business.

Before the Affordable Care Act, private insurance was unaffordable and I was employed elsewhere in order to keep our young family covered. With the ACA, I could focus full time on our business. Since then, our business has quintupled, which is great for both us and our community. We’re able to employ more local plumbers, electricians and carpenters, and purchase more local materials like lumber.

The Senate repeal bill badly hurts business by introducing a lot of uncertainty into our local economy. It throws 22 million people off insurance and slashes Medicaid by $772 billion.

What happens to our community when people get sick without insurance? What happens to the local economy when Maine’s Medicaid dollars disappear and the bottom falls out? How many of our average-income clients will feel confident enough in their own financial future to hire us when their premiums jump 20 percent next year?

I’m worried that Sen. Susan Collins might compromise on Medicaid. If she cares about Maine’s small businesses, economy and her constituents, she won’t compromise on their health at all.

Emily Ingwersen

Arundel