You Made the Country More Productive, so Why Can’t You Get Health Care?

  • March 10, 2009 by Corbett Barr
  • 3 Comments

Laura Vanderkam wrote an excellent article over at the City Journal about the ins and outs of the freelance economy. She talks about the benefits of self-employment to both the individual and the overall economy. She also points to a study that showed that self-employment has boosted the overall business-sector productivity of the U.S.

Her most interesting conclusions are around the issue of health care, both the difficulty in finding coverage and the expense of it for self-employed people. Because of the health care situation, some self-employed are forced to seek jobs with corporations. The situation is also increasing support for a national universal health care system:

What to do? The answer for many is to look to universal health insurance, and during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama had his sights set squarely on the self-employed when he proposed a guaranteed-issue public plan—with benefits similar to those available to members of Congress—that would be available to individuals and small businesses that wanted to buy in.

What do you do about healthcare when you’re not working for a company that provides it? Do you support universal health care?

The Promise and Peril of the Freelance Economy

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Steve dB March 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm

This is a big issue if you work for yourself, especially if you are part of a family. I have two children and a partner, and work as a designer and artist. We received notification a few months ago from Blue Cross (California) that our family policy would be zooming up from approximately $600/mo. to almost $1,000/mo. What happens next year? $1500/mo.? What about five years from now? This is seriously insane. The new administration has a unique opportunity and mandate to change our system for the better. I hope we have the political will as a people, and that we will our representatives to get out of bed with special interest groups and act in the interest of the greater good.

Corbett Barr March 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Perfect example, Steve. It’s a shame that the burden of health care is so high for the self employed. The trick for the country will be creating a new option that cuts out the waste and bureaucracy of the current system. It would terrible if things became even worse after a universal health care system.

Helene May 24, 2009 at 2:03 am

Our present health care system is based on an employer pay model. Unfortunately, expenses have gone through the roof and it is becoming more and more difficult for employers to afford health insurance. It is definitely making us less competitive in the world economy. It is even more difficult for those of us who are self-employed to find affordable coverage.

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