Linda McMahon Comments on WWE Not Providing Health Insurance For Talents

Vince and Linda McMahon

Linda McMahon, the former WWE CEO and current administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has been doing a ton of media work as of late because of her SBA Ignite Tour, where she has been meeting with plenty of small business owners throughout the country.

McMahon recently spoke to The Las Vegas Sun to talk about her time with the WWE and a variety of professional wrestling topics. Linda first discussed she and Vince’s decision to buy what is now known as WWE from his father, and not providing health insurance to its talents:

“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.”

In his youth, Vince was an on-air personality for his father’s Capital Wrestling promotion and increased the company’s revenue with a variety of new ideas. He would eventually purchase the company from his father, however, the deal came with a twist. If Vince missed one of the four payments for the buyout, control would instantly be reverted back to Vince’s father:

“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.”

Today, the WWE is the powerhouse of the professional wrestling industry but has been under heavy criticism for how they accommodate their talents. Due to the fact that the company treats its wrestlers as independent contractors, they do not provide their Superstars health insurance or retirement benefits:

“It’s such a complicated issue to try to give a succinct answer,” Linda said. “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.”

“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.”

Linda then chimed in on her displeasure for the country’s current healthcare plan, Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obama Care:

“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 then commented on the current replacement plan in place for Obama care which just passed the House:

“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.”