What’s the biggest deterrent to Americans who want to start their own businesses? Most people would say access to capital, and money certainly does matter. But, in my experience, fears about health care are even more prominent. Many Americans would like to take the entrepreneurial leap, but fear the cost of independent health care or the risks of going without. Many business owners, like me, tap into health care plans of partners or spouses, but that’s not an option for everyone.
According to new research sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ObamaCare is expected to generate a catalytic, and perhaps unexpected, shift in the health care decision calculus facing many would-be entrepreneurs. Because health care will no longer be directly linked to job status, the dangers of “job lock” will be avoided and many more potential entrepreneurs can attempt to pursue their delayed dreams. The study projects that as many 1.5 million new self-employed people will arise after the new health care laws go into effect. The changes will vary across states, with little change in Massachusetts, which already has similar rules in place, to more than 248,000 new businesses in California. Overall, self-employment rates are projected to jump by an average of 11% across the US. This is just another indication of the momentous changes that will be ushered in once the new health care laws are in place.