Will health care law spur entrepreneurs?

Mitchell Hartman Jun 29, 2012
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Will health care law spur entrepreneurs?

Mitchell Hartman Jun 29, 2012
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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.

 

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