• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Freeing Entrepreneurs From Health Care Burdens

    The most e-mailed story today at The New York Times looks at the trouble self-employed persons face finding health insurance. The article does not look at the myriad of federal and state laws that created this problem, but instead focuses on what options and private sector tools the self-employed can utilize to procure health insurance. The Times reports:

    If there is one thing that separates the self-employed from those employed by others, it is their preoccupation with health insurance. I was reminded of this on Feb. 14, when I wrote a post on the Shifting Careers blog asking small-business owners and would-be entrepreneurs what they were doing about health insurance. Within hours, scores of people posted comments about their own experiences and, if they had managed to find good resources, shared those. I have been reading e-mail messages and trying to make sense of the subject ever since. In short, it is not pretty out there.

    This is not news to heritage Foundation analysts who have long called for Congress to abandon the World War II era preference for health insurance delivery through employers. Equally harmful consumers, as the Times later notes in the article, is the state-by-state patchwork of regulations and mandates that make affordable health plans almost impossible to find in some states. There are three changes Congress could make to help ease the health insurance burden on our nation’s entrepreneurs:

    • Congress should change federal tax law to provide direct tax relief to individuals and families for the purchase of health insurance coverage. This would enable them to own their coverage and take it with them from job to job. Portability of coverage is the chief remedy for the instability of the existing health insur­ance markets.
    • Until Congress makes these changes, state policymakers should redesign state health insurance markets to promote personal own­ership of health plans, enabling individuals and families to keep coverage regardless of employ­ment changes.
    • State and federal policymakers should reform public health programs, notably Medicaid and SCHIP, guaranteeing enrollees a reliable, predict­able funding stream for health care while design­ing assistance so that they can use it to buy private coverage, thus facilitating a seamless transition into private coverage. The right wel­fare policy would enable individuals to move off welfare and into the private economy.
    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.