Former WWE CEO and current administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Linda McMahon continues to make media rounds as part of her SBA Ignite Tour, where she is visiting with small-business owners throughout the country. Recently, she spoke with The Las Vegas Sun where she discussed her and Vince McMahon buying what is now known as WWE and about the company providing health insurance to its employees.
"Vince and I have always said that we had a great opportunity, but great opportunities can come and go if you don't take advantage of them and seize them," McMahon recalled. "Being in this particular industry is something that he always wanted to do from the time he was a little boy. It was in his blood."
Vince, who was an on-air personality for his father's Capital Wrestling, developed ideas to increase revenue and eventually bought the business from him. Linda explained the leveraged buyout and how if they missed one of the four payments, the business reverted right back to her father-in-law.
"We were able to do it. By taking over the business ongoing and paying as you go with it, we did increase revenues through that time," McMahon said. "So then we went from the Northeast and moved it across the country, and made it into first a national business and then a global business."
Taking what was a small local promotion to a global conglomerate, the McMahons have dealt with many challenges and criticisms. One of the biggest criticisms of how WWE does business in 2017 is they pay their wrestlers as independent contractors, meaning they do not have to offer them health insurance or retirement benefits. McMahon was asked given this, how can business and government work together to provide health care.
"It's such a complicated issue to try to give a succinct answer," Linda told The Las Vegas Sun. "WWE went from having no insurance when Vince and I first got started — I remember when I walked into his office when we had 13 or maybe 14 employees, and I said, 'Guess what? You now have health insurance.' And he said, 'Wow.' I don't think he realized he didn't have it before."
McMahon explained how WWE provided healthcare for a few to paying all the costs, to later having co-pays after growth. She said it was a "real process" for a company that is growing.
"The cost of health care has grown. We had a very young company, so there were a lot of babies being born, so we had some high expenses," McMahon said while comparing today to her beginning years with WWE. "Eventually, we went to self-insuring except for catastrophic. We had health savings plans. We tried different ways to make sure that our employees had really great coverage that they weren't paying too much out of pocket to try to keep those co-pays reasonable within guidelines."
McMahon believes the government should repeal and replace the country's current healthcare bill known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a.k.a. Obamacare.
"I do think that government can be helpful in the health care field by repealing and replacing Obamacare at this particular point. I do believe that. I think it must be better," McMahon said.
"There are some aspects of it that are good. I absolutely believe children should be able to stay on their parents' policy, that there should be no pre-conditions that would prevent you from getting health care. So there are many parts of it that I think are really good."
McMahon believes in a healthcare law that allows for insurance to be purchased across state lines, explaining it's not fair for government to impose mandates on insurance companies. As for the current Obamacare replacement that has passed the House, McMahon expressed optimism.
"I think it has some good points," she said. "It will now get tweaked by the Senate, and I really do hope it can get pulled together because I think the tax savings that will be realized through the proposal that had been put in the House and the Senate, that does help to push our tax reform down the road."
You can read more comments from McMahon to The Las Vegas Sun by clicking here.