My producers Kevin Finnegan and Heather Tesoriero found The Hickory House in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and some of its employees, as subjects for our piece. The folks at the Hickory House were fantastic to work with and, incidentally, the food is quite good too. I think, the people we were talking with – Candy, Lisa and Randy – were compelling and have stories of the healthcare predicaments so many Americans find themselves in.
Randy, who has worked at the restaurant for roughly two decades, really wishes that providing healthcare plans was easier for them. As insurance premiums have skyrocketed over recent years, the Hickory House has had to raise deductibles and rates and fewer employees are able to afford it.
In the long run, either proposal seems to suggest that small businesses, like the Hickory House, could get out of the health insurance game. Both Sens. McCain's and Obama's plan would give more options for individuals to go out on the open market and find health insurance plans on their own.
However, I was surprised to learn that both the manager and the other employees preferred having the Hickory House provide the health plan. Many of the employees said the small business was like a family and that they felt protected by the Hickory House. Therefore, they were inclined to want to obtain healthcare plans through their employer. Of course, that's something that is only getting more difficult for places like the Hickory House. There was a collective sense that no matter what the changes were, or who is elected, that something needed to be done.