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Obamacare Could Help Fuel a Tech Start-Up Boom

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the communist-healthcare-would-have-helped-more dept.

Businesses 671

dcblogs writes "The arrival of Obamacare may make it easier for some employees to quit their full-time jobs to launch tech start-ups, work as a freelance consultant, or pursue some other solo career path. Most tech start-up founders are older and need health insurance. 'The average age of people who create a tech start-up is 39, and not 20-something,' said Bruce Bachenheimer, who heads Pace University's Entrepreneurship Lab. Entrepreneurs are willing to take on risks, but health care is not a manageable risk, he said. 'There is a big difference between mortgaging your house on something you can control, and risking going bankrupt by an illness because of something you can't control,' said Bachenheimer. Donna Harris, the co-founder of the 1776 incubation platform in Washington, believes the healthcare law will encourage more start-ups. 'You have to know that there are millions of Americans who might be fantastic and highly successful entrepreneurs who are not pursuing that path because of how healthcare is structured,' said Harris"

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but but but but (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997045)

Bachmann said Job Killing Regulations!

That's why Europe is an entrepreneurial powerhouse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997057)

Or some such thing.

Re:That's why Europe is an entrepreneurial powerho (2)

Rinikusu (28164) | about a year ago | (#44997145)

Re:That's why Europe is an entrepreneurial powerho (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997357)

lol at this quote from your article:

So what's different in Europe that might account for the better relative performance of small business? First, taxes are lower. After Japan, the U.S. has the next highest corporate tax rate among industrialized nations and a higher rate than all of Europe.

Re:That's why Europe is an entrepreneurial powerho (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997431)

The article you linked to makes no mention of healthcare being a factor, but *gasp* lower taxes, lower regulatory barriers, and better access to capital.

You may want to read things before using them to justify your position, or you end up looking silly.

Doubtful.. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997061)

You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that? My guess is that when one really been far even as decided once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like.

It’s just common sense.

Re:Doubtful.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997131)

Ok, I almost need healthcare after trying to read this.

yep (5, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44997067)

If th e US has a civilized Health Care system, I would start my own business much easier. Or join a start up without worrying about health care.

Re:yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997101)

Most Silicon Valley startups offer healthcare.........if they don't, they are horrifically underfunded and you should avoid them.

Re:yep (2)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44997161)

Many do. Not all, and many of those only offer to help pay for Cobra-ing into your existing plan. That doesn't help if you don't have an existing plan, or if you're in a high risk category (weight, pre-existing conditions, etc). And none of this applies to founding a startup, when you're pre-funding.

Re:yep (1)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#44997443)

I think you meant to say:

AND if you're in a high risk category (weight, pre-existing conditions, etc).

Because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act would still apply and limit the options for the new plan to 'discriminate' based on preexisting conditions, both when moving group to group but also with maintaining coverage under COBRA.

Odd how Democrats never remember that fact, because we all know that before Obamacare, a pre-existing condition was an automatic death sentence and you had to walk carefully on sidewalks to avoid the mass of dead bodies of those who lacked insurance of any kind.

Re:yep (5, Informative)

cyclopropene (777291) | about a year ago | (#44997485)

Most Silicon Valley startups offer healthcare.........if they don't, they are horrifically underfunded and you should avoid them.

It takes time to obtain funding. The article is talking about the people who take a risk and actually launch startups, and their health insurance during the time that they are pitching their ideas to investors to obtain the funding to offer insurance to new employees, not people like you, who only join after the funding is secured.

Re:yep (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997199)

Why should you have to worry about anything? Maybe the gov't should pay for your auto insurance too. That is one less thing that could interfere with you starting a business? What about your mortgage? How can someone start a business if they risk losing their house if the business fails. Maybe the gov't should just provide us all housing too. Why should we even have to worry about earning a salary. Can't the gov't just give us all free money?

Re:yep (1, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | about a year ago | (#44997213)

OMG, holy cow and all that. Speaking as someone who has started and sold a couple of small businesses, I can promise you that Obamacare will NOT make it easier. There is even a tax for every employee, whether you have health insurance or not. Sorry to burst your bubble (and no matter how you feel about Obamacare in general) but more regulations do NOT make it easier to start a business, no matter what kind of regulations they are.

Re:yep (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997323)

As a small business owner, I cannot agree. I do have the impression at this point that ACA does not do enough to decouple health care financing from employment, but even so, it looks like ACA will help most small businesses, including mine.

Re:yep (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997389)

that's odd, because my brother is self employed. Due to ACA, he is now going to be marked a criminal because though he used to have health insurance, he can no longer afford it, and as such, has had to drop his coverage.

Re:yep (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997451)

your brother sucks at making money self employed

Re:yep (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44997465)

I do have the impression at this point that ACA does not do enough to decouple health care financing from employment

Hear, hear! Health care should be completely decoupled from employment. That would be pro-business, and I'm always amazed it hasn't been promoted as such. It works for Canada and many other countries.

Re:yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997473)

I think the point is not that it makes starting a business _easier_, but that it makes it more likely someone might choose to start their own business. I, for one, simply can't consider starting my own business in a pre-obamacare (oh, how I *hate* that stupid name) America. Now that I know there's a way to get affordable healthcare even when I've started my own small business, it's much more likely to happen. I don't care if healthcare is _hard_, I only care that it's possible and affordable.

Re:yep (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997247)

Don't see a whole lot more start-ups here in Canada than the US.

Re:yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997297)

"A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury." --unknown

Re:yep (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44997413)

If th e US has a civilized Health Care system, I would start my own business much easier. Or join a start up without worrying about health care.

1. Are you in the US now?

2. What is stopping you? Lot's of other people manage to create start-ups. Healthcare is a minor problem compared to developing a viable business plan. Why are you different?

Re:yep (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997497)

Starting a business involves risk, and lots of it. We all have a different tolerance for risk; some of us fall in the "I'd take the risk if it wasn't for the cost of healthcare" camp. *That's* the straw that breaks the camel's back, so to speak. We may have kids, or an ailing spouse or ailing parents, or simply have a weak constitution. The affordable care act helps in that regard, and might be enough to persuade some noticeable percentage of new businesses to spring up.

Exactly! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997069)

One of the things the haters don't get is how big an implicit tax we pay because we don't have universal health care. Other countries pay far less per person, with far less risk. You may not be thinking about it when you're 20 something and healthy, but in a moment you can lose everything because you're not covered.

Re:Exactly! (1)

JayBean (841258) | about a year ago | (#44997107)

But... The affordable healthcare act is NOT universal healthcare. It mandates that everyone has coverage (with a penalty for those who do not), but it doesn't do anything in terms of guaranteeing it.

This article sounds like someone trying to find some positive tech angle for a piece of legislation.

It may help lower costs (or increase them), but that is something we will see soon enough.

Re:Exactly! (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44997217)

Yes it does. It requires insurance companies to accept people with pre-existing conditions (which can include mere weight), which is a major problem for anyone trying to buy individual coverage. It also provides rebates for people who make under a certain threshold, reducing costs.

It's not perfect by a long shot, but it's better than what we had.

Re:Exactly! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997283)

It also creates the exchanges, which ensure that you, as an individual can purchase healthcare at group rates.

Can't say that we've seen a tech boom here in Massachusetts, things were moving along rather well anyway, but speaking as someone doing a startup, right now, in the state, with access to exchanges...it's awesome.

Re:Exactly! (3, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44997335)

Yup. My state exchange opens tomorrow. For the first time in 2 years, I'll have insurance (due to my weight no insurance provider was quoting me prices below 500 a month). That literally is the difference between life and death if I get seriously ill- it will be a huge weight off my shoulders.

Re:Exactly! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997439)

(due to my weight no insurance provider was quoting me prices below 500 a month).

So, you are happy to pass on the cost of your irresponsibility which made it
possible for you to be obese to the rest of us who take better care of ourselves ?

If you had any sense of responsibility you would be ashamed.

Re:Exactly! (2)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44997453)

Actually, obese people cost less in medical care over their lifetimes, they die earlier. So you can thank me for saving you money.

Every person has a right to medical care. If you had any humanity you would be ashamed.

Re:Exactly! (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44997463)

And if you had any sense of decency, you would feel that bankrupting people or dooming they to die because of pre-existing conditions was morally wrong.

Re:Exactly! (0)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#44997477)

Lemme guess... you are one of those who laments the fact that auto-insurance is so high as a new driver because of the "haven't carried insurance in the last 6 months" penalty... so opt to go without... right? Doubly so when under 24 and the rates are even higher?

Same goes for health insurance, if you did the responsible thing and bit the bullet and got some health insurance of your own (ie rather than having me help pay for it), you'd be able to move to a lower cost plan without the risk of issue from 'preexisting conditions'

Seriously, why is it you liberals are so unfamiliar with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act?

Re:Exactly! (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about a year ago | (#44997407)

*Can't say that we've seen a tech boom here in Massachusetts*

Well, you had a confounding variable, in the form of the asinine "IT tax" that is now slated for repeal.

Re: Exactly! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997363)

Right. Heaven forbid people be accountable for the choices they make and the lifestyle that they live.

Re:Exactly! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997235)

But it also adds rules that are supposed to make health care affordable and accessible. Ending really evil shit like pre-existing conditions and other nonsense that lets insurance companies worm out of obligations.

It's interesting to note that other countries implemented laws much like obamacare, then switched to outright universal health care within years. Baby steps.

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997271)

I will admit I'm not very informed on the issue and don't really have an opinion either way, but does Obamacare help or hurt? From what I do understand and have read it tries to lower costs by using some sort of competition-spurring market comparison system, right?

Re:Exactly! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#44997315)

"...it doesn't do anything in terms of guaranteeing it."

It makes insurance available to millions currently denied coverage at any cost because they are in the individual market and have been sick in the past. It provides subsidies so people who were priced out of the private insurance market can get it.

Republicans won't allow a system with better results for a fraction of the price (single payer universal), so we are stuck with a half measure. It is still better than condemning more people to death and bankruptcy by repealing the ACA for not being perfect.

Re:Exactly! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44997351)

Don't worry about the penalty. It's much smaller than the premiums. So just pay the penalty, and use the emergency room. The biggest threat comes from putting the taxman in charge of collections. So, I still say, kill the bill, if for that reason alone. The IRS is the most fascist part of the government.

Re:Exactly! (-1, Troll)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#44997141)

But... but... entitlement. You don't deserve healthcare unless you can pay for it! Sell some stocks, buy more money, and stop whining!

Re:Exactly! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997219)

You don't deserve healthcare unless you can pay for it!

This has nothing to do with Obamacare. People who can't afford it can get Medicaid, that's been around for a long time.

The reason Obamacare might help is because people who are afraid they won't be able to get healthcare if they quit their job will be able to now get healthcare. Of course, you can now, but it will cost a lot. Theoretically the ACA will make that cheaper.

Not for medical device startups (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997077)

I've worked in the medical device start-up world for about 10 years now. The 2.3% tax imposed by Obamacare has really hurt. Because it's a tax on gross, not net, it makes it much harder for small companies to turn a profit. So funding has been drying up.

At least in the US. Because of the way the tax is calculated, imported products have an advantage. So funding is shifting OUS.

Re:Not for medical device startups (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44997267)

Why is that modded down? The medical device tax is widely seen as a bad thing. Or are we only allowed to cheer ever for bad ideas contained in the "ACA"?

How A Tax On Medical Devices United Political Rivals [npr.org]

A 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices that took effect at the beginning of 2013 should be undone, they say. House Republicans included a provision to do that in a funding bill passed over the weekend that also sought a one-year delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said in a statement last week that "there is strong bipartisan support for repealing the medical device tax, with Democrats and Republicans uniting behind our effort. I will continue to work to get rid of this harmful tax so Minnesota's medical device businesses can continue to create good jobs in our state and improve patients' lives."

Really (-1, Troll)

bp2179 (765697) | about a year ago | (#44997079)

You have a killer idea that you think you can make money on, but healthcare is holding you back. Seems to me that none of the other booms, industrial or tech bubble, had anything help from "Obamacare" but were still prosperous.

Re:Really (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44997143)

true, but they are specifically target a demographic that has traditionally been held back by needing health care.

Frankly, I suspect its' why large corporations don't get behind universal health care. They can't trap employees. At least that's the only reason I can think of since a good national health care system would save them money, and be consist and predicable in the books.
Obviously there could be another reason and I simple didn't find it.

Re:Really (5, Insightful)

seebs (15766) | about a year ago | (#44997151)

Oh, sure. And we had prosperous booms without computers, too. That people succeeded without something isn't evidence that having it won't help them.

Re:Really (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997191)

Yes, but that hardly supports my political viewpoint, now, does it?

Re:Really (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year ago | (#44997493)

Yeah, just like Buffett's line of (paraphrased) "Nobody ever decided not to earn another dollar because they would have to pay tax on it".

Unmitigated bullshit (0, Flamebait)

larwe (858929) | about a year ago | (#44997089)

It's hard to know where best to direct criticism of this arrant, political nonsense. Obamacare, at least for the specious reasons given above, will have zero net effect on people in their late 30s deciding whether or no to begin a startup. MANY startups operate with no health insurance right now, regardless of the age of the participants. I've personally been a part of or otherwise associated with multiple startups with principals in their 50s or older, with existing health conditions, who have intentionally pulled out of employer provided health insurance to begin their startup, or who moved to private (Expensive) healthcare coverage and ultimately had to drop out of it as their startups cratered and they ran out of money. Like any other form of tax, Obamacare's net results will be negative in employment, and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something - likely, statism.

Re:Unmitigated bullshit (1)

mwehle (2491950) | about a year ago | (#44997147)

It's hard to know where best to direct criticism of this arrant, political nonsense. Obamacare, at least for the specious reasons given above, will have zero net effect on people in their late 30s deciding whether or no to begin a startup. MANY startups operate with no health insurance right now,

I'm not sure I understand your argument here. Are you saying because there are many startups with no health insurance the number of startups will not increase if people have access to health insurance?

Re:Unmitigated bullshit (true for this comment) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997171)

Really, "any other form" of tax "will be negative in employment"? Not strong on economics, I think. Reality here, as it usually is, lies in the middle. I'm already on private insurance and welcome Obamacare. If not for me, then for other people who might join any startup I might create.

Re:Unmitigated bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997187)

You are dumb. For every startup you see where someone was willing to go without insurance or try to foot the bill for an expensive plan, there are 5 more considering it and choosing to wait because of health concerns.

You're anecdotal experience is just that. Anecdotal.

Re:Unmitigated bullshit (5, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#44997193)

Like any other form of tax, Obamacare's net results will be negative in employment

As a truism, that's bullshit. And it's not even entertaining bullshit.

Let's pretend it was taken to it's logical extreme, aka a society with zero taxes. Also known as a society with no roads, no enforced laws, no food inspection, no building codes, etc. You really thing that's a better functioning society with increased employment? Now, obviously a society at the other extreme (100% taxes) is equally dysfunctional. Arguments can be made for lower taxes (and certainly better spent taxes), and arguments can be made for raising taxes in some circumstances (certainly worked in California lately), but to say lower taxes are always better is so stupid it's not even wrong.

Re:Unmitigated bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997231)

I had to come to the USA to see people worried about changing jobs because of loss of healthcare. Just because YOU were in a startup without healthcare doesn't mean a damn thing really, mostly it doesn't mean others are willing to make the same risks. Much less, this is a fucking tech website, so chances are that the startup was still a relatively well paying job... where this is REALLY going to help is startups for jobs that don't pay as well, it will be easier to create a startup for companies with manual labor jobs (stacking boxes in a warehouse, digging ditches, whatever) where you would not otherwise be able to get your employees healthcare for whom they have probably been stuck 10 years working at a walmart distribution center simply because they can't lose their totally shitty healthcare.

any idiot who cannot see the benefit of this legislation is both ignorant to the benefits that it creates a benefit at the grass roots level, AND is probably selling something.

Re:Unmitigated bullshit (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44997255)

You're example is rare, and I doubt they had young kids..
I would risk no health care and a start up if 3 people didn't depend on my to survive.

Whats wrong with statism**?
Something do not work in a market becasue there is no really competition, like, say, healthcare.

Check out the hospitals and health care in countries where there is no regulation of a healthcare policy. Just be careful, you might trip of the people dying in the street.

"Like any other form of tax,
the idea that a tax means less employment is faulty.*

*which is a kind way of me telling you you're an ignorant SOB with no clue what you are talking about. But I'm to polite to say that.
**I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt abs assume you actually know what statism is and you aren't actually talking about authoritarianism.

Re:Unmitigated bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997319)

Bullshit. I did it. Unfortunately, failure to plan for a certain subspecies to be declared endangered means that my business plan was declared illegal, even though I had no impact on the critter.

Re:Unmitigated bullshit (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44997269)

And I've personally known many people who decided not to build a business because they couldn't afford to be without health insurance. I know even more who decided to take a job at a stable company rather than a startup for that reason. It will absolutely make more people give it a shot, because it lowers the risks involved. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something- most likely the world's most morally bankrupt philosophy libertarianism.

Except it's a small factor in startup creation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997093)

My coworker tried to found a startup last year, in Canada. No healthcare issues for him, since we get free healthcare (except for dental, drugs etc, that goes through employer benefits). The VCs were interested, but NONE of them put money down. To get startups off the ground there needs to be a supply of investment, and willing investors. I bet in the US there are plenty of startup ideas and founders RIGHT NOW, but VCs are being too conservative. Healthcare is only a tiny piece of the puzzle.

Re:Except it's a small factor in startup creation (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44997153)

If the VCs said they were interested but didn't put any money down, it's because they weren't really interested. Canadian politeness, eh?

The Real Problem Isn't Health Coverage (2, Interesting)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about a year ago | (#44997109)

That simply doesn't wash. While I certainly want everyone to have coverage and to get the best treatment, the fact is, BY LAW in the United States, no hospital can refuse to provide essential care. I have a friend who had breast cancer, and who went through the entire course of treatment without paying a penny. I have another who suffered kidney failure and went through years of dialysis -- without paying a dime.

The real killer is *being*out*of*work. You're so sick, you can't work, so you have no income. For that, health insurance (whether Obamacare or something else) doesn't do a thing. You need coverage to pay the bills while you're out of work.

THAT'S why people go bankrupt.

Not taking sides either way, I'm just pointing that out. The fact is, also under the law, even if you have assets, as long as you pay the hospital what you can afford (even if it's only $5 a week), they can't do anything to you. If they take you to court, you can tell the judge: I was out of work for a year, I can afford to pay them $25 a month and that's it. The judge will almost always agree.

I've been in court and have watched it happen.

Again: you can make an argument for universal health care. But I just wanted to set the record straight about that.

Re:The Real Problem Isn't Health Coverage (1)

seebs (15766) | about a year ago | (#44997167)

The problem is, if you are paying them as much as you can afford on bills that are 20x your likely annual income, you are never gonna be able to do anything else. No savings, no investment.

Re:The Real Problem Isn't Health Coverage (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about a year ago | (#44997313)

In other countries, they work just to buy food. In America, we work just to pay health insurance...if you can get it. If someone where I work put their whole family on health insurance, they would work close to two weeks out of the month just to give it to an insurance company. And god forbid they actually need to use it, because there went the other pay check.

On the bright side, there is that month out of the year where you get three pay checks! At least we have that.

Re:The Real Problem Isn't Health Coverage (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44997179)

You're missing a SMALL detail: the family.
My son needed a surgery the cost 15K. Fortunately I work for a city so I have decent healthcare. I couldn't have done that on my own, and health care for a family of 4 was 1500 a month.

Re:The Real Problem Isn't Health Coverage (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997303)

I have a friend who had breast cancer, and who went through the entire course of treatment without paying a penny.
AND
  I have another who suffered kidney failure and went through years of dialysis -- without paying a dime.

you are lying. Stop it. That not how it works. They only have to be sure you aren't dying right at that moment.

" provide essential care."
Incorrect, emergency care not essential care.

" If they take you to court, you can tell the judge: I was out of work for a year, I can afford to pay them $25 a month and that's it. The judge will almost always agree."
This is why hospitals have started selling their debt to 3rd parties. These 3rd parties can claim more, sue you, destroy your credit, garnish you wages.

"I've been in court and have watched it happen.
since everything else you say is factually wrong, I'm not going t believe this either.

I am a Former ER billing specialist, Now ER nurse.

Re:The Real Problem Isn't Health Coverage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997415)

Well, the kidney one could work. I had a friend in college who needed dialysis but couldn't get insurance or pay for it on his own. His solution was to wait for two or three weeks until it was so bad that the hospital would provide him the dialysis and just put it as noncollectable. He managed that for a year. Thankfully, the next year he didn't have to do that because he moved home during the summer after taking a summer school class for the month. When he showed back up two months later, the hospital decided to provide it on the recommended schedule because they knew he would do the same thing that year and each doctor chipped in for the balance. Apparently, most of the hospital thought he died when he went home because he told them about the summer classes.

Also, I would not recommend that strategy. He looked like he was better off dead by the time he actually would get the dialysis.

Re:The Real Problem Isn't Health Coverage (1)

fred911 (83970) | about a year ago | (#44997457)

"These 3rd parties can claim more, sue you, destroy your credit, garnish you wages."
                      ^^^^^^^
In the majority of the US you can't garnish wages with a judgement. One can levy personal property, but ya can't garnish wages.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. (4, Informative)

sirwired (27582) | about a year ago | (#44997441)

Read the laws again. The law merely requires facilities that accept Medicare and provide emergency care to provide "stabilizing" treatment to emergency conditions without regard to ability to pay. Once you are stable, it is perfectly legal to toss you out the door. Your friend likely found a facility that was willing to cover her cancer under their charitable care program (some level of unpaid care is required in most states for non-profit hospitals.) If your friend had needed a transplant, she would have discovered the limits of that care. (People routinely die due to inability to get transplants covered; they are just too expensive for most hospitals to write off.) Dialysis is ALWAYS covered by Medicare as soon as four months elapse, no matter your age. But you need to find somebody to cover those four months, unless you want to head to the ER every time you crash. This is by no means guaranteed. You most certainly can be refused "essential" care, as long as you are not in danger of dying right there in the lobby. (As in, they'll treat you if you are about to fall into a diabetic coma, but aren't at all required to provide you with a monitor and strips (much less insulin) long-term to keep it from happening again.)

Next, there is no law saying that hospitals (or anybody) cannot collect on debt as long as you are making minimal payments. They can pursue debt collection equal to the efforts of any other unsecured creditor. And yes, if you show up and offer up what you can, the judge may take you up on your payment plan... but that's not set in stone and varies widely by state.

And yes, being out of work drives people to bankruptcy, but so do unaffordable co-pays and deductibles, policies with horrible annual limits, policies with limited coverage, unaffordable drugs, sudden catastrophe without insurance (it doesn't take much), etc. The paths to medical bankruptcy are many.

Does this work elsewhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997113)

Lack of universal healthcare is holding back enterpreneurs....so is there any evidence in countries that do currently have some sort of universal healthcare system that this encourages entrepreneurship? Is the UK a hotbed of high tech startups?

Re:Does this work elsewhere? (1)

RandomUsername99 (574692) | about a year ago | (#44997257)

Re:Does this work elsewhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997393)

I call shenanigans.
The article you linked to makes no mention of healthcare being a factor, but *gasp* lower taxes, lower regulatory barriers, and better access to capital.

You may want to read things before using them to justify any position, or you end up looking like a ignorant fool.

One of the most obvious and false tropes (-1, Troll)

Scareduck (177470) | about a year ago | (#44997119)

One of the constants about startups is their youthful employee base -- young people have less economic baggage and less experience, and so can be had cheaper. Obamacare makes it much more expensive to hire such individuals by forcing companies to provide increasingly expensive health care, if even one employee ends up in the individual plan! Obamacare is not liable to make entrepreneurial activity more likely, but less.

Re:One of the most obvious and false tropes (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997185)

That is a load of bull. Any startup would have to have 50+ employees before being required to offer health care. And then the cost under ACA is much less. Stop spreading your misinformed lies.

Makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997123)

It reduces one impediment to people doing something different.

Sounds plausible (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#44997127)

I can't begin to imagine how many people I've worked with over the years that have only worked somewhere because of the health benefits. Make the health benefits no longer an issue and you gain better competition in the market for where people can work. Remove the barrier and all of a sudden a lot of places that previously would not have attracted enterprise class talent open up.

The fact that some of these places are starts ups is largely incidental. Think of it this way, something like 40% of fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants. Why? Because they were hardworking and didn't have anything holding them back.

I know I've turned down employment opportunities for a lack of viable health insurance for my family, I have to imagine that I'm far from the only one. What happens when people are no longer held back by this very practical concern and can go for broke like the immigrant entrepreneur?

not likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997129)

Any company in the United States with one or two employees can already obtain guaranteed issue group health insurance. http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/small-group-guaranteed-issue/

A single consultant can create a two person company by hiring their wife. An entrepreneur who is not smart enough to obtain health insurance is probably not smart enough to create a successful company.

How? (0)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#44997137)

How does passing a law that causes individual health plans to increase in cost, incentivize someone to quit their job and and lose their employer subsidized health plan?

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997425)

How does passing a law that causes individual health plans to increase in cost, incentivize someone to quit their job and and lose their employer subsidized health plan?

Pre-existing conditions - you can quit your job with more confidence if you know that you cannot be denied coverage. But of course you're 100% right - it's too bad that the US didn't just move to the far cheaper and more effective single payer universal coverage model instead of fixing the hell-hole inefficiency of the US's current private insurance system. Then you'd have coverage at a lower cost. Still, being able to get coverage in the first place even with a pre-existing condition is a good thing.

Because they'll actually be able to buy coverage (3, Informative)

sirwired (27582) | about a year ago | (#44997475)

If you have a "serious" pre-existing condition (and the criteria for what that means is VERY broad), absent Obamacare, it's VERY difficult (and in many cases impossible) to obtain insurance. And what insurance is available is often utterly unaffordable and or horrible. (Any pre-existing condition you have will usually be outright excluded, along with childbirth.)

With Obamacare, those in excellent health will indeed pay more for coverage, but those in anything less than excellent health will now be able to obtain usable insurance outside of an employer group plan.

This is a joke right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997165)

So... You are planning to risk everything on a start up when you have the added monthly cost of health insurance? This isn't free insurance, and the average price for a family is going up $7,500 because of it. If anything this is going to make people less likely to start up a business then risk loosing employer contributions.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/09/23/its-official-obamacare-will-increase-health-spending-by-7450-for-a-typical-family-of-four/

Re:This is a joke right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997275)

And that's if it works by getting the young and healthy to make decisions against their economic interest.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/06/implementing-obamacare

Living in your own bubble I see? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997175)

While I doubt obamacare will ever see the day of light (thankfully) it seems more like people want to startup their own business for the wrong reasons. If it were healthcare that was the problem then they could easily just establish a company and buy insurance for the company. Wouldn't cost that much either and that's to have health insurance. Just because health insurance is or isn't available, doesn't mean you can't go to the hospital and get treated. Government intervention is what makes healthcare in the US so damn expensive in the first place. Why do people insist on believing that this is that one thing the government will do right when there's nothing right about the obamacare plan at all?

Sure, let's pretend that obamacare is magical and can create the foundation of startups, they can't get very far. The moment they reach the minimum quota to force companies to pay for medical care will just stagnate growth. A startup can easily reach 40 employees but once it does guess what? Obamacare comes around and kicks them down and they probably won't be able to afford it so they will keep their employees at 39 or whatever the number is. Anyone interested in create a tech-related startup needs to do it in their free time, not a full-time dedication thing because if it doesn't workout they're going to have a bad time. But I guess there are enough government programs to feed those that don't succeed or don't want to work at all already so it's okay.

Broken Window Fallacy (0)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#44997177)

Broken Window Fallacy

Re:Broken Window Fallacy (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#44997197)

Never mind. It's not. In which case, neither will it "fuel" anything. Obama didn't build that.

Re:Broken Window Fallacy (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#44997373)

Wouldn't that be "broken spleen fallacy"?

Actually (4, Interesting)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#44997221)

He's right. The present system ties people to their jobs. Aside from all the hate by certain groups, there is something to be said for some of the provisions.

If you say, have some disease, and it is cured, and you want health coverage, you are stuck in your present job with it's present health coverage. Change jobs, and ooopsies, it's a preexisting condition. So a friend of my spouse who had breast cancer, is stuck in her job. Because if it recurs, which isn't likely at this point, but possible, she is bankrupt.

And despite all the hate, there is a lit fuse in the present system. People without health care do get treatment for their illnesses and minor issues. They go to the Emergency room. There, they get the most expensive treatment available to people - emergency room care. Before my father passed away last year, he was in the emergency room three times. And it was a little strange. Most of the people there just seemed to have minor problems, like sore throats, colds, sick kids. I'd asked about that, and the eanswer was "it's poor folk with no insurance." But rest assured that it is paid for, by your's and my premiums, and by Government.

The problem is, as insurance costs go up, and people drop off the rolls, the emergency room will become more and more used for more and more people. A real positive feedback loop, Eventually no one except people who can pay for their medical bills out of hand will afford health insurance. Then, unless we are going to force peole to go without medical treatment, we'll have a bizzare form of universal coverage. Not a good idea at all.

Reading the opposition plan, it is some bafflegab about doing the same thing as we are doing now, except for more bafflegab about affordability.

Re:Actually (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#44997333)

And despite all the hate, there is a lit fuse in the present system.

More than one....

Re:Actually (0)

Libertarian001 (453712) | about a year ago | (#44997501)

If people with non-emergency situations are clogging up the emergency department then the hospital *should* be able to turn them away. This is what urgent care facilities are for, along with a regular doctor's office.

Not having health insurance is not a legitimate excuse for bad behavior, and going to the ER for a sore throat is bad behavior.

In the service we had a little joke about the difference between a leak and flooding. If you're afraid for your life, you have flooding. Anything else is just a leak. Health care is similar (though obviously more relaxed). Broken arm? Go to the ER. Headache? Go to UC and pay for it.

worst.idea.ever (1)

lq_x_pl (822011) | about a year ago | (#44997225)

If you have a stable job, don't burn any bridges too soon. The two paths this will take will be vaporware or custerfluck. Neither of which are desireable options for the dutifully-employed.
If you're unemployed, can code, and don't already do consulting for scraps - make sure the scope of what you take on is well defined. This behemoth will not be easily scoped or contained.

Alternative Headlines (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997233)

Obamacare Could Bankrupt Tech Industry.

Tech Jobs Head Back Overseas Due To Obamacare.

Obamacare May Cause Unicorn Population Boom.

You see, all these could this and may that headlines are just utter crap!

still might not help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997241)

A new startup might produce less than 133% of the federal poverty rate of income for the founder, initially. That would force the founder to either go on Medicaid (which is by any objective measure, sub-par coverage*), or pay full price on the exchanges (the founder, no matter how little he/she makes, will not be eligible for subsidies because Medicaid is available to him/her.

So, health insurance may still be an unaffordable luxury for someone trying to found a new company, especially in the early stage where finances are very tight. Our hypothetical founder also cannot wait until he/she is ill to then try to get insurance on the exchange-- the law only provides for a short open enrollment period with the only exceptions for major life events like a new baby, or losing ones employment.

* Medicaid is not accepted by most physicians (except pediatricians). Those on Medicaid must go to a few low-income health clinics. Several reports of a study come up in the first page of a google search for "cancer outcomes medicaid" (w/out quotes). If the results of the study are valid, then having Medicaid and cancer is _worse_ than being uninsured with cancer.

The Reason (2)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#44997243)

People who start tech companies is 39 is because they get laid off and replaced with a know-nothing 23-year-old when they are 38.

SHUTDOWN !! DO WE GET A REFUND ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997251)

I would expect a refund for each day this gubmint is shut down !! And by all means do NOT pay those 'leaders' who caused this !!

Had this freedom in Canada for a long time (4, Informative)

caseih (160668) | about a year ago | (#44997347)

Healthcare is one major reason I decided to move back to Canada and work in a self employed situation. Here people can work two part time jobs if they want, or start a business and not worry about having to buy into basic health care plans. Many companies do offer supplementary insurance though. Even our own family company is thinking of doing that.

Obviously freedom means different things to different people. Guess at least half the republican party sees things differently.

Profit! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#44997359)

The paranoia certainly has fueled profits for right-wing talk and "news" shows.

Tech Startup? (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year ago | (#44997379)

What exactly do they mean by tech startup? The 40 year old project manager for a software company that leaves to consult with an existing customer base to increase freedom/pay? Or the Elon Musk starting a new billion dollar venture? I guess they're both tech, and they're both startups, but the current industry definition of tech startup only really applies to the latter, while the age of the people being mentioned are the people that go into small time consulting after they're tired of the corporate world and realize that the company is charging the customer $200/hr while you're being paid $50/hr to render service

Uh-huh, RIGHT ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997403)

I suppose capital which will enable startups will fall from the
sky once all Americans are "insured" ? Yeah, sure. We will all
be able to finally devote our time to that startup we have dreamed
of creating, because somehow the US economy will magically become
so much healthier that loans will be easily available to anyone who wants
a loan. Of course this is false, and the idea that Obamacare will somehow
result in an increase in startups is equally false.

Regarding Obamacare and how well US citizens will be taken care of under it,
here is a dose of reality :

There are a great many people who won't be able to afford either the high insurance payments
required to be able to have a low deductible, or if they pay only the smaller payments they
can afford, they will have a deductible which is so large that it will be tantamount to having no
insurance whatsoever because they won't be able to pay the cost of the deductible.

It is all nothing more than another lie which has been used to screw the average citizen
yet again. Obamacare is a tax in disguise and won't benefit anyone but health care providers.

You're going to need good start up pay to pay tax (1)

bricko (1052210) | about a year ago | (#44997409)

AS this fiasco is at the start projected to be 1.5 Trillion short after the first year..... So get that big new money you are expecting all loaded up to pay the extra tax that will have to paid soon....because since the IRS is essentially controlling administrator...and they have hired over 1000 extra law enforcement types....they will be coming for that money....one way or the other.

What a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997419)

Everything subsidized goes up in price. Communism and socialism do not work no matter how many people are enslaved. I'm looking forward to all the communists and socialist being run out of America on a raft. One will have obama on it headed back to Indonesia...

Re:What a joke... (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44997499)

I do love tea part 'yards like you. What does amaze me is how they teach people with babboon-sized brains to type, let alone vote.

Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44997491)

This is a bullshit stretch. Because Obamacare is forcing people out of a full time job does not mean that those affected will spur an innovation.

The more pragmatic look at this paradigm is that people will look for other part-time jobs to fill the revenue void. The downside tp this is that they will not be of any real value to society.

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