Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Access to health care leads to more entrepreneurship. Period.

As entrepreneurs, the hardest part of raising our family was the cost of providing our own health care. This sometimes means taking outside jobs just for the medical coverage.

Entrepreneurship is based on the availability of options. Fewer options means less innovation.

I'm very hopeful for our country's new innovators, entrepreneurs and emerging small businesses when I see the valuable range of health care upgrades now underway to help them. Certainly nothing is perfect but it is certainly better than doing nothing.

There was a great interview about this recently on the radio program Marketplace from American Public Media.

Is health reform unleashing an entrepreneurial wave?

By Mitchell Hartman Marketplace Money, Friday, April 22, 2011

Sampling from this program (emphasis added)...

"Under the Obama health care reform plan, it's supposed to get easier to find affordable insurance if you leave a job to try your hand at being an entrepreneur. That's the theory, anyway."

"We sent Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman from the Entrepreneurship Desk at Oregon Public Broadcasting to find out if health care reform is unleashing a small business wave."

"Many of these students say they're ready to launch right after college. One thing helping them along: under the new health care law, they can stay on their parents' health insurance until they're 26."

"Starting in 2014, state insurance exchanges will let individuals and small businesses join together to shop for coverage. And insurance companies won't be able to deny coverage or set sky-high rates based on age or preexisting conditions."

"Economist Paul Fronstin at the Employee Benefit Research Institute says the goal is to give everyone access to the kinds of plans big employers offer. And then let people keep their coverage. And that will give people an opportunity to take risks as far as opening up a business, without having this fear about being denied health insurance coverage."

"That fear leaves many mid-career professionals shackled to jobs they'd like to leave. Business consultant Gene Marks says insurance reform could give these people -- with a Rolodex full of contacts, and a cupboard full of cholesterol and blood-pressure medications -- a sort-of "get-out-of-my-9-to-5-job-free" card."

"Gene Marks says it can help companies looking for new blood, too.

"Sometimes there are people you'd like to hire or you'd like to work with, but you can't because they have a preexisting condition. They can't leave their company, they can't change their health plan -- it's very restrictive. Now, with that new legislation, it does open up more opportunities for business owners to go out and grab people and some talent."

"Fledgling businesses now have access to subsidies to help them offer insurance to their employees."


Thanks to Marketplace for a great outline of the economic development value of access to health care.

Health reform is not a cost. It is a critical workforce investment.

You want innovation and entrepreneurship? Access to health care is pro-business.

Is health reform unleashing an entrepreneurial wave? By Mitchell Hartman Marketplace Money, Friday, April 22, 2011

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