Happy birthday ‘Obamacare’

The self-employed, freelancers, independent contractors and mom-and-pops have every reason to celebrate

Foes may deride it as “Obamacare” but health reform legislation lets those of us with the entrepreneurial spirit have our cake and eat it too. It’s a good feeling.

If you are on this site, you likely do not have employer-provided health insurance and if so, today is a big day for you: today is the one year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to derisively as “Obamacare.”

As Forbes columnist Rich Unger recently pointed out, those foes of the President may be making a miscalculation with that moniker. The more people find out about health care reform, the more they will like it and the more “Obamacare” will be a nod to the President’s vision and effort on this issue.

Because of “Obamacare” … insurance companies will soon no longer be able to turn you down for coverage because of a pre-existing condition. You won’t be “job-locked” because of fear of losing your employer-based coverage. Health reform really symbolizes a new “Independence Day” for would-be entrepreneurs.

Because of “Obamacare” … you no longer face bankruptcy because of unexpected medical expenses. Staggering medical bills have been blamed for 50 percent of the bankruptcies in this country. Obamacare outlaws the horrible industry practice known as rescission, which insurance companies once used to drop people from their rolls when they need insurance most. Insurance companies are no longer able to have a lifetime limit on coverage, so you won’t lose your home over unpaid medical bills if a family member becomes seriously ill.

Because of “Obamacare” … your kids can now stay on your health insurance policy until age 26, getting them through the college years and those first few fragile years when they’re starting their careers.

Because of “Obamacare” … seniors are already seeing the prescription drug donut hole closing, and brand-name prescription drugs costs already falling to half of what they were last year. By 2020, the donut hole will be completely eliminated.

Health care reform removes a giant source of uncertainty for those of us with the entrepreneurial gene … the freelancers, independent contractors and mom-and-pop microbusinesses that politicians like to point to as the realization of the American dream. This legislation, while it helps all Americans, really seems targeted toward our needs.

Happy Birthday Obamacare, and may you have many, many more!




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