Health Insurance Security Creates Jobs

People feeling secure that their health insurance will continue (or be easy to get) creates an often overlooked societal benefit, i.e., it promotes job creation – particularly for entrepreneurs. Because this value is hard to quantify, it is seldom seen in policy or political rhetoric. (It is also overshadowed by the general “job lock” phenomenon of employment-based health insurance.)

This week’s National Journal has a great article on this topic (“The Other Jobs Bill”) that examines Massachusetts’ experience with their insurance reforms and coverage requirements: The expert consensus is that these reforms have boosted Massachusetts’ economy and job growth compared to other states. Two quotes from the NJ article highlight the impact:

“Massachusetts, despite the confounding effects of the recession, can now offer aspiring entrepreneurs the freedom to leave large companies and start small ones – and give dissatisfied workers the freedom to change jobs, freelance, or scale back their hours without worrying about depriving their families of health coverage.”

“Despite some initial concern from the business community, companies have largely embraced the law as a benefit, not a burden.”

Implications for the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the ACA

Driving home how interstate commerce is affected by health insurance coverage, the article tells the story of a start-up company’s Founder recognizing the business value of guaranteed access to health insurance through the state’s exchange: It was the factor that “finally snagged her several talented staff members from bigger, established companies out of state.” [emphasis added]

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