How Obamacare Is Creating Startups

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    Feb 21, 2014 5:10 AM GMT
    During college, Lauren Braun worked at a health clinic in Peru, where she spent an inordinate amount of time tracking down mothers in an effort to get them to bring their children in for vaccinations. The experience was frustrating, but through it Braun came up with a business plan: Make silicone bracelets that function as punch cards, to remind mothers about upcoming appointments. Back in the United States, she consulted with mentors and perfected the idea, but then, she set it aside after graduation, going to work for a large health-insurance company, taking a salary and benefits over the uncertain life of an entrepreneur.

    A year and a half later, she got word that her bracelet company, Alma Sana, might have a life after all: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had awarded her $100,000 to test the idea. Braun was O.K. with the 60 percent pay cut she would take by quitting her day job. But she did not want to lose her health insurance.

    Were it not for Obamacare, Braun, 25, would be confronting a phenomenon that economists call “job lock”: when people stay in jobs they dislike, or don’t want, solely to keep their health coverage. A Harvard Business School study in 2008 estimated that 11 million workers are affected by this dilemma. Other studies show that when people don’t have to worry about health insurance, they are up to 25 percent more likely to change jobs. Obamacare was designed, in part, to fix this inefficiency in the labor market, and thanks to that association, job lock has become a political lightning rod.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/magazine/how-obamacare-could-unlock-job-opportunities.html
  • MichaelG

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    Feb 21, 2014 3:26 PM GMT
    I am so happy that someone finally found it beneficial.
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    Feb 21, 2014 3:45 PM GMT
    I have dual citizenship. One of the reason that I am an independent business person in Canada, not the USA, is healthcare. In Canada I get healthcare regardless of how well my business is doing, regardless of how much money is in my wallet. And since 90% of independent businesses fail, starting a business in a country with guaranteed major-medical is less risky. If and when the health care situation in the USA stabilizes (i.e, Obamacare succeeds) I can consider moving back and bringing my business with it.
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    Feb 21, 2014 3:55 PM GMT
    I wonder why we haven't heard about a push to "sign up" homeless people? There must be at least a million of them. A homeless person is someone that does not have a job which is what I would be if I stopped working. As an old single man ACA is crazy expensive so I have no health insurance.
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    Feb 21, 2014 4:34 PM GMT
    That example is a friggin joke. She gets a $100k GRANT (not an SBA loan) so that lowers her short-term operating costs dramitically.

    She takss a 60% pay cut LOL

    Requires a Federal subsidy to get healthcare insurance

    Considering 50-60% of startups go broke within a year, each new job will cost us (and Bill Gates) about $225k
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    Feb 21, 2014 4:43 PM GMT
    Nivek saidI have dual citizenship. One of the reason that I am an independent business person in Canada, not the USA, is healthcare. In Canada I get healthcare regardless of how well my business is doing, regardless of how much money is in my wallet. And since 90% of independent businesses fail, starting a business in a country with guaranteed major-medical is less risky. If and when the health care situation in the USA stabilizes (i.e, Obamacare succeeds) I can consider moving back and bringing my business with it.


    As you do , i also have dual citizenship , Australia Healthcare system is very similar to yours in Canada . I have health insurance through my employer in the U.S which cost me $US 260 per month , but i am also covered in my home Country . Because of my field of employment , i often go back and forth between the U.S and Australia , i always tried to have tests done in my home country are they are almost free of charges . I have shown copy of tests and doctors invoices obtained from Humana , to my doctors here in Queensland , and they all smiled and asked me if the physicians and surgeons worked with gold plated equipment !!
    It is time for the Americans to wake up , healthcare cost in America are out of reach for uninsured and insured ( deductibles , copays )
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    Feb 21, 2014 4:50 PM GMT
    In a sense, Obamacare amounts to a massive transfer of risk. Under the old system, if you quit your job and couldn’t get health insurance, you courted financial ruin every time you did something as mundane as riding your bike or playing pickup basketball. Now that risk is distributed to everyone who buys health insurance (including the government). Free of the massive financial risk of being alive, unemployed Americans can more easily take on risks associated with doing what they want to do.
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    Feb 21, 2014 4:57 PM GMT
    somersault said "Considering 50-60% of startups go broke within a year, each new job will cost us (and Bill Gates) about $225k"

    However, those start-ups that make it employ and generate tremendous wealth. For example, Facebook just bought for $16 Billion dollars for WhatsApp start-up.
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    Feb 21, 2014 4:58 PM GMT
    Obamacare accomplishes this wonderful experience for Lauren by charging me higher health insurance rates. 112% higher to be exact. The name of the legislation is the AFFORDABLE Care Act. It's affordable for Lauren because Obama takes the money from me. I compensate by spending less money which
    drags down the economy. Now Lauren's former employer eliminates that job instead of hiring a replacement.

    Why do I have to subsidize Lauren's health insurance?

    Why can't Lauren keep her legs crossed or pay $9 per month at Target for birth control instead of me paying for it?

    Why can't Lauren use a $5 dildo instead of me paying for her birth control?

    Why is Obamacare endangering Lauren's life with HIV exposure by providing free pills instead of condoms.

    Women were paying higher health insurance rates because they use health services more frequently than men. Why do I have to now pay higher rates so that women get a price break?

    I pay more for Life Insurance because all men are charged higher rates than women. Why aren't women subsidizing my Life Insurance rates?

    20% of breast cancer is found in men. I now have to pay for Lauren's free mamograms but I can't get a free mamogram.

    My new Obamacare policy won't pay for a PSA test to detect prostate cancer, my old policy did include the test. If the test isn't important then why does Obama get one every year?

    My 24yo neighbor has an Aerospace degree but can't find a job because Obama cut defense spending. Why do I have to pay for his health insurance because he refuses to take an entry level retail job?

    As part of Obamacare, I pay for kids vision care and dental care even though I'm single. I even received ID cards for 2 kids I don't have. Why do I have to pay for my own Vision and Dental Care?

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    Feb 21, 2014 4:59 PM GMT
    Though this is a good thing for people like Braun, it doesn’t look good for the labor force as a whole — at least on the surface. In February, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Affordable Care Act would reduce employment by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs. Opponents seized on this as evidence that Obamacare is a job killer. But that’s not what the C.B.O. meant. “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor,” the report says. In other words, if people work less, it will be by choice.

    It may seem counterintuitive, but from an economics perspective, this is a good thing, because it encourages the labor force to allocate itself more efficiently. Older workers will finally be able to retire, leaving openings for younger workers. People will switch to jobs that better suit their talents. Parents will be able to spend more time with their families. Such changes don’t always make people wealthier, but they make people happier.
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    Feb 21, 2014 5:14 PM GMT
    If Lauren gets AIDS and I die from prostate or breast cancer, how were our lives happier?

    Why is the government deciding for me?

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    Feb 21, 2014 5:22 PM GMT
    woodsmen saidsomersault said "Considering 50-60% of startups go broke within a year, each new job will cost us (and Bill Gates) about $225k"

    However, those start-ups that make it employ and generate tremendous wealth. For example, Facebook just bought for $16 Billion dollars for WhatsApp start-up.


    lol what a joke your examples are.

    most small businesses have annual revenues of about $45k
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    Feb 21, 2014 5:42 PM GMT
    Ten Reasons to LOVE Small Businesses"

    BTW, I always prefer to "shop local", even if it means spending a little bit more. Local businesses are owned by local people in our communities. Local people are generally part of local families. Local families are the heart of our communities and the fabric of our nations.

    Also, real world, every day "Republicans" are LOVING Obamacare because it is saving their lives. And, the Congressional Budget Office states that the escape from the "Insurance Trap" can increase GDP.

    Republicans Benefiting From Obamacare.

    Hahaha! So, bitch all you want about Obamacare. It's here to stay and for the greater good of more people and families for generations to come.
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    Feb 21, 2014 6:02 PM GMT
    somersault said "lol what a joke your examples are"

    All successful businesses start small. Not sure if you can provide one example of a business that is large overnight. In Seattle, we have many start-ups now large including Boeing, UPS, Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and on and on. Yeah, they probably made $45K when they started but not any more.
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    Feb 21, 2014 6:03 PM GMT
    This is allowing people to not have to stay in overworked, dead-end jobs that are probably making them sicker, any longer than they need to, according to John de Graaf, executive director of Take Back Your Time, an organization dedicated to reducing overwork. De Graaf says that people who work long hours with little control over their schedules are more likely to suffer ill health effects like heart disease. So increasing their choices, he says, “may save more money on health than the act itself.”
  • Rene_Aensland

    Posts: 2495

    Feb 21, 2014 6:53 PM GMT
    Another interesting thread to read during lunch.

    Great read. =]
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    Feb 21, 2014 7:29 PM GMT
    But in reality, many Republicans have long talked about the need to liberate workers from job lock, and conservative arguments against the Affordable Care Act willfully ignore the fact that giving workers more freedom benefits a favorite constituency: Would-be entrepreneurs. These future innovators might just be chained to their corporate gigs, unable to boost the economy with small-business hiring. Access to health insurance outside of work should enable them to take the leap.

    James Bailey, a graduate student in economics at Temple University, came up with a clever way to test that theory: he looked at what happened to 19- to 25-year-olds when the Affordable Care Act made it possible for them to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans, beginning in 2010. Those who got the coverage, he found, were two to three times more likely to go into business for themselves. And that increase was largely driven by women, who are generally more risk-averse than men.
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    Feb 21, 2014 9:52 PM GMT
    The only thing that Obamacare is doing is making us closer to becoming a socialist union. Why should I have to subsidize anyone for healthcare? I hope when someone better then Obama is elected to the office of the President, that they take steps to reverse the effects of what this forced medical subsided program is doing to the country.
    It is not my job to pay for someone's health care
    It is not my job to pay for someone not to work for 2+ years
    It is not my job to pay for someone on food stamps

    It is my job to take care of myself, my family and who I want to help. It is not the US Government telling me what I will and will not be paying for.....

    Government has overstepped its boundaries and it is time for us to say enough is enough....

    Vote them out, each and everyone
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    Feb 21, 2014 10:19 PM GMT
    Our economy needs risk-takers in order to grow. That’s why the government creates programs to mitigate risk. For example, insuring student loans softens the risk of investing in an education. The bankruptcy system lessens the risk of starting a business.

    When Braun got the grant to start Alma Sana, the Gates Foundation’s generosity might have been pointless had it not been possible for her to go on her parents’ health plan. Without that, she says: “I would have had to have gotten a different full-time job in addition to doing this, and that would have been really challenging. I’ve worked 12 hours a day from the beginning of this grant period.” Meanwhile, the bracelets, which cost just pennies to make, could save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in wasted vaccines — or her startup might fail entirely. That’s a gamble Braun chose to take.
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    Feb 21, 2014 10:46 PM GMT
    nvfire1 saidThe only thing that Obamacare is doing is making us closer to becoming a socialist union. Why should I have to subsidize anyone for healthcare? I hope when someone better then Obama is elected to the office of the President, that they take steps to reverse the effects of what this forced medical subsided program is doing to the country.
    It is not my job to pay for someone's health care
    It is not my job to pay for someone not to work for 2+ years
    It is not my job to pay for someone on food stamps

    It is my job to take care of myself, my family and who I want to help. It is not the US Government telling me what I will and will not be paying for.....

    Government has overstepped its boundaries and it is time for us to say enough is enough....

    Vote them out, each and everyone

    But that is how all insurance works. Everyone in an insurance pool subsidizes those who file claims. If you crash your car other people in your insurance pool pay your bill. In health care, that lack of affordable, adequate plans has been having a crippling effect on every part of the system. Emergency rooms have closed in record numbers, many hospital bankruptcies, thousands dieing every year prematurely. It actually costs the economy more to have people uninsured than it does to insure them. So you may not like the idea of subsidizing others in some way, but in the long run you pay less.
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    Feb 22, 2014 4:02 AM GMT
    startups and economic growth have nothing directly to do with healthcare or insurance.

    In fact both healthcare and education have become gargantuan bloated, corrupt scams designed to milk the system for the benefit of a few. Healthcare can be fixed by enforcing the Sherman and Clayton Acts, but the refuse to (as a ton of people would be in jail)

    Students loans are another scam to entice people into debt and the friggin government won't allow the debt to be discharged in bankruptcy. I could go on but I hate long posts.
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    Feb 22, 2014 5:55 PM GMT
    somersault saidstartups and economic growth have nothing directly to do with healthcare or insurance.
    Not so. I would never have taken the risk to go into business for myself had I not had the security of guaranteed health care.