GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - Tuesday night's debate was a sparring match in a town hall format.
While none of the questions were about healthcare specifically the candidates still found a way to work in the topic.
Right now all Americans are facing a deadline: get health insurance by 2014 or face a fine.
Businesses with more than 50 employees will be required to offer a plan.
It is part of the affordable care act which was upheld this year by the supreme court.
For business owners this election could be critical to their health care budget.
"In retail especially the pendulum swings. You could have a fantastic day one day and then not see anybody the next day" says Nicole Zich, owner of Sassy Girl, a boutique on Broadway in Green Bay.
The uncertain income is one reason her totally part time staff is not offered health insurance.
Zich does not carry it either.
"When you are making the decision about advertising, payroll, health care usually your decisions for yourself get kicked to the side. Business comes first" she explains.
While Sassy Girl still won't be required to provide insurance in 2014, Zich will have to get coverage herself or pay a fine.
"I am hoping that will make the premiums low being that we all will be required to have it. Power in numbers that's what I am hoping for" says Zich.
Securing the small business vote is critical, they provide roughly half the private sector jobs in the U.S.
"The one good thing that came out of that debate is they talked about small businesses. That hasn't been really in the forefront of debates or the election yet" says Ryan Kauth, Director of the UW Green Bay Small Business Development Center.
The national federation of independent business has listed health care costs as the top concern for small business owners every year for more than three decades.