1. National Health Plan=Good for Small Businesses and Self Employment.
2. Small Businesses and Self Employment=Good for Women.
3. You do the math.
Allow me to explain:
Old news: The U.S. hasn’t been able to muster the will to get real health care reform, but we are leaders in entrepreneurship and small businesses. We have that going for us.
New news: Oops. The U.S. has one of the lowest rates of self-employment and small businesses of any comparable rich economy, per a report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Check out “An International Comparison of Small Business Employment.”
“Conservatives and liberals see small business as a way for women to get ahead in the economy. It offers flexible employment–and takes away the glass ceiling because you are your own boss,” comments the report’s lead author and CEPR Senior Economist John Schmitt. “But the numbers on U.S. small business and self employment suggest that the U.S. lags far behind European counterparts.”
Uh, health care issue? The CEPR report explains that one big obvious reason for this surprising weakness might be our lack of availability of health insurance. As Schmitt and co-author Nathan Lane explain, “The undersized U.S. small business sector is consistent with the view that high health care costs discourage small business formation, since start-ups in other countries can tap into government-funded health care systems.”
So, for example, those considering their own business, women with pre-existing conditions or women of childbearing age can have a lot of trouble getting health insurance. Though insurance companies can’t treat pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, the loopholes make the situation look like gruyere cheese. I’m sure GWP readers have a story or two to tell.
All roads lead to health care reform. This is #87 of the 46 million reasons why Americans really do want health care reform. By really do, I mean, 72% of Americans (polled by NYTimes/CBS) support a public option. It gets framed as like “Medicare for All”–and there’s a bill in Congress to support it. Want to do something? Tell your member of Congress about the CEPR’s small business research. And tell your member of Congress that Medicare for All (H.R. 676) is a no-brainer.