LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gina Martin’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – earned her a visit from the Secret Service in the spring.
But it was a good thing.
Martin’s vocal criticism of Obamacare caught the attention of the White House, leading Vice President Mike Pence to schedule a visit to her business, Little Rock Tours and Travel, to hold a health care listening session with small business owners.
“We spent a week with Secret Service preparing for the visit,” said Martin, founder and co-owner of the motorcoach company.
At the time, she told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that there was “Secret Service everywhere and I’ve got a SWAT team … I’ve got snipers on my roof. I’m telling you, it’s pretty crazy this week.”
This all happened as the House of Representatives was trying to pass an Obamacare repeal bill in March, and Pence’s visit to Little Rock was planned to coincide with the House passing the legislation.
However, when the House bill failed to pass, Pence canceled the trip at the last minute.
“But they kept me in mind for when the issue resurfaced,” Martin said.
She ended up traveling to Washington in June, along with eight other women small business owners, and they were given the opportunity to discuss the detrimental affects of Obamacare on their companies.
Martin said she discussed the rising health-care costs affecting her business and the complexity of the law with respect to motorcoach drivers, who are variable employees.
“I stated these additional costs join the rising costs and regulations with FMCSA, and I suggested to the vice president that we needed a listening session about them next,” Martin said.
“Everybody in the room laughed, including the vice president.”