One generally ignored, yet very important benefit to the fight to reform the nation’s health care system is what the health care reform bill can potential do for those with entrepreneurial ambitions. Instead of taking away personal freedoms, reform actually expands and creates new freedoms.
Thousands of workers in this country who wish to become self-employed are chained to their employers in order to continue receiving the group medical care their employer provides. These erstwhile entrepreneurs know that if they quit, they will have to buy health insurance for themselves and their families on the open market. The health insurance market for single purchasers is largely unfettered by price competition or regulations – and it will cripple them financially. That is, if they can buy health insurance at all.
Some of them or their families have a preexisting condition, making it impossible for them to buy any insurance at any price. So they remain on the job, year after year, tamping down their ambitions.
Small business persons and self-starters are what gives the United States its dynamic component. Yet these ambitious persons remain trapped in their cubicles with no way out due to this difficulty.
The mandate to cover everyone is a new, small mandate that is a small imposition on personal freedoms. But the freedoms the new system creates are different and so much better. It will unshackle Americans who wish to strike out on their own, and give them the flexibility to live their dreams.
Their concerns that insurance can’t be purchased will be over. Ditto that it will be canceled once they get sick with a major health problem. The ambitious will be able to quit their jobs and strike out on their own, knowing coverage they can afford is out there.
The struggle for passage has been acrimonious and controversial. The bill isn’t perfect.
But the status quo was unsustainable. The weight of the system’s dysfunction has been crushing to the economy, the nation’s people and had to be addressed. We will be a happier, healthier and more prosperous nation when there is health care security for all.