Health Care Reform and Entrepreneurship

Partisan cheerleading or naysaying aside, there are many reasons that the health care reform is interesting.   Over here amidst I&E week, we might consider how health care reform will affect the level and rate of entrepreneurial activities.   It has long been asserted that the lack of health care creates “job lock,” whereby potential entrepreneurs stay in their current job for fear of losing health insurance.  The assurance of health care mitigates this concern, hence unleashing the full force of entrepreneurial activities…  Or so the argument goes.

Scott Shane from Case Western buys into the idea of job lock, but doesn’t necessarily believe that this week’s legislation will create any jobs.  He recounts his reasoning in Business Week, concluding:

In short, the current system of employer-sponsored health insurance creates job lock that keeps some entrepreneurs from starting businesses and creating jobs. But the size of that effect is smaller than most estimates of the number of jobs that health-care reform will destroy.

If you are interested in looking at how someone does a back-of-the-envelope calculation on such matters, the Business Week piece is quite interesting.

You might also consider checking out Megan McArdle’s blog for much more on this topic here, here, and here.