small business

Healthcare Reform - Abandoning the Self Employed

Michael Collins

Before it ever arrived at the president's desk for signature, the health reform act contained a fatal poison pill.

The most creative sector of the business community has a dagger at its heart in the form of the relentless, unyielding, and over burdening cost of health insurance. The self-employed and very small businesses have seen their insurance premiums climb 20% to 75% since 2009. To purchase an adequate family plan, a self-employed person will pays an amount 50% to 70% of the nation's median personal income, $32,000 a year, for family health plan. This includes premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket expenses. That is twice the cost for relatively generous plans at medium to large size companies. Very small businesses, two to twenty employees, pay about the same (Image: Paul Henman)

Wasn't health reform supposed to take care of just this sort of inequity? Didn't the title of the bill say it all? The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act There is no protection for the self-employed when they have these stark choices facing them due to unaffordable insurance rates. They can give up working for themselves; buy adequate insurance and take a huge hit to income; buy a substandard plan and hope that whatever comes up is covered; or, abandon insurance at real risk to their health and, in some cases, their lives.

Then the Financial Tsunami Hit... Frontline report

This is a front line report on the class war.   Edwin Girdle (The Colonel)
had an excellent business going until he needed a loan after the shock
of 2008.  The banks that got billions weren't lending and there was no
help anywhere else in the "safety net."  His story is compelling and
clear.  Noted at Jerome Doolittle's blog at SmirkingChimp.com who first posted this and reprinted with Mr. Girdle's permission.
Michael Collins

For three years I owned and operated a mini-market/gas station in a
Cincinnati, Ohio suburb. I bought an already existing store using all
the assets I had, including my 401K funds, after being down-sized from
my middle-management career of 22 years (in one of the many industries
which the U.S. can no longer keep onshore).

Things went along fairly well and the business grew as I acquired a
large clientele of regular customers from the local construction
companies, other business owners, and the Ford plant. My girlfriend and
I worked 90+ hour workweeks and, along with help from a few part-time
employees, we operated 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
In other words, I was a real practitioner of the kind of
free-enterprise capitalism that our windbag politicians and business
leaders praise to the heavens while making sure it doesn’t apply to
them.