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Obama cites Spokane business in defending health care law

Obama cites company in talk on health care

Spokane business owner Janine Vaughn hit the jackpot twice this week, in terms of national press attention.

On Friday, President Barack Obama cited her and her downtown small business, Revival Lighting, as a beneficiary of last year’s health care reform.

Obama singled her out during remarks at a morning address before more than 1,000 health care advocates. The president said last year’s Affordable Care Act – under attack from Republican lawmakers and some state governments – provided Vaughn with significant tax credits to keep her small business operating and profitable.

Earlier this week, the White House blog hit the same theme, noting that the tax credits in the law allow Vaughn to offer her seven workers stable hours.

Vaughn is one of three owners of Revival Lighting, which has operated for 12 years in Spokane.

She said the publicity produced fast benefits. An Olympia-based insurance firm offered the company a group insurance rate lower than what she’s been paying.

The group rate for her employees jumped this year, a condition nearly every employer has faced.

Vaughn said she’s glad for the law’s tax deductions based on how much she spends on employee benefits. But she thinks the law should go further, Vaughn told a White House staffer who interviewed her before the president’s comments.

“My only complaint about that is you only get a tax break on the employees, not for the owners or their spouses. I let the president know that I wished for a break for all of us,” Vaughn said.