Jeff Horwich: So far, small-business groups have mostly panned the Affordable Care Act. They dislike the paperwork, and the fines for not offering employees health coverage. But for some entrepreneurs, it might clear a big obstacle to starting a company.
From our entrepreneurship desk at Oregon Public Broadcasting, here's Mitchell Hartman.
Mitchell Hartman: Entrepreneurs will be able to shop for group health plans on new insurance exchanges. Today, they’re stuck with individual plans -- skimpy and expensive.
Sara Horowitz of the Freelancers Union says that’ll give every American:
Sara Horowitz: The same kind of health care, whether they work for themselves, for a small company, a big company. The idea that good benefits only come with jobs is over.
Anyone whose job doesn’t come with insurance, will have to buy it -- or pay a penalty. The National Association for the Self-Employed complains that’s a financial burden.
But entrepreneurship scholar Vivek Wadhwa says the benefits outweigh the costs.
Vivek Wadhwa: The average age of a technology entrepreneur is 39. ‘What happens if I have a heart attack? What happens if I get ill?’ So this is going to make a big difference in the ability of people to start companies. So that all they have to worry about is their business plan, not health insurance.
Wadhwa launched a startup, and five years later, had that heart attack. By then, he could afford insurance. Otherwise, he’d be bankrupt -- and the startup could have failed.
I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.