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For businesswoman, women’s march was about more than feminism #8212 it was about health care and her company

Meg Fry//January 26, 2017//

For businesswoman, women’s march was about more than feminism #8212 it was about health care and her company

Meg Fry//January 26, 2017//

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Karen Schloss Diaz, founding partner of diaz • schloss communications, a boutique public relations firm in Montclair, participated in The Women’s March on Washington, D.C., last Saturday.Karen Schloss Diaz, founding partner of diaz • schloss communications, a boutique public relations firm in Montclair, participated in The Women’s March on Washington, D.C., last Saturday.

She felt she had to. As a woman — and as a small business owner.

“As small business owners for more than 20 years here in New Jersey, my husband and I proudly marched in Washington, D.C.,” she said.

Schloss Diaz said it was important for her to join the nearly 500,000 people in the nation’s capital in support of the Affordable Care Act and other organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, which she feels provides critical health services for both women and men.

“We have paid out nearly $300,000 to self-insure — never less than $1,000 per month — and have continued to pay $50 copays every time we saw a doctor,” Schloss Diaz said. “Our annual deductibles have ranged from $2,500 to $6,500, and that did not include vision or dental.

“Every year, our insurance company would raise rates from anywhere between 15 and 20 percent, forcing us to drop our current policy and reapply for a less expensive one.”

Schloss Diaz said she was able to spend much more time on her business and much less money on health care after joining the marketplace. 

“Under the Affordable Care Act, as healthy participants, we have been able to keep all of our doctors while receiving one complimentary wellness visit, one nutritional consult and one gynecological exam each year.

“Our rates dropped significantly.”

In 2017, for example, she is paying nearly $800 per month to cover a family of three thanks to subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Unfortunately, she said, much like her past insurance coverage, that still does not cover vision, dental or holistic healing treatments, such as acupuncture, chiropractic or psychotherapy.

She said she knows there was still work to be done, but repealing the Affordable Care Act entirely is not the answer.

Organizers said nearly 5 million people around the world participated in rallies that took place in all 50 states and in more than 60 countries. Six events were held in New Jersey: in Asbury Park, Pompton Plains, Sicklerville, Trenton, Westfield and Wyckoff.

Organizers said attendees joined together to demand transparency, accountability, security and equity from the current administration on issues including but not limited to: the prevention of domestic violence; the response to police brutality and racial profiling; fair immigration rights; reproductive freedom; equal pay; universal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual communities; and environmental protections.

Schloss Diaz said the cost of health care is a big issue with her.

“The U.S. is one of the richest countries on Earth and virtually the only ‘first world’ country to deny its citizens equal access to basic health care and civil rights,” Schloss Diaz said. “Criminal health insurance costs are the reason why we have so little saved for our daughter’s college education and for our retirement.”

Note to readers: The election and inauguration of President Donald Trump has generated strong emotions (both for and against) by female business executives and small business owners, NJBIZ has learned by talking with so many of you. We’re interested in telling your stories especially the idea that so many (again, both for and against) are hesitant to speak up and speak out because of the reaction it may cause by others.

If you want to share your views, with or without attribution, please reach out to Meg Fry at [email protected].