Health Care Reform: One Little-Discussed Plus of New Law - Job Mobility
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | September 12, 2011 10:50 AM EST
It's been overlooked -- it's received very little coverage by the popular press -- but it's worth repeating: one benefit of the health care reform legislation will be: enhanced "job mobility."
Employee mobility is one of those terms that probably most Americans have not read too much about, but in-a-nutshell it is this: the freedom of workforce participants to move into their high-value field or work in the job of their choosing.
However, don't misunderstand: a bill that prohibits discrimination by insurance companies due to medical condition/history and that provides substantial subsidies for those who don't have health insurance from their employer, and that also offers much-needed tax breaks for small businesses who do provide coverage, is a major accomplishment: it's big change and it's big news.
The health care reform bill passed, represent the biggest social policy advance by the United States since the passage of Medicare in 1965, and it would rank third behind the latter and the establishment of Social Security of 1935 in terms of social safety net significance.
One Major Benefit of 2010 U.S. Health Care Reform Act: Job Mobility
But Americans should not overlook the impact health care reform will have on Job mobility.
Right now, millions of professional and blue collar employees are remaining in current jobs, not because it's their preference, but because of their health care plan. In some cases, it's health care for a spouse and/or dependent: the employee knows that a job shift with a health plan shift may jeopardize coverage/benefits, hence they stay put. True, job mobility also declines cyclically during recessions -- there simply are fewer openings during contractions -- but the health care factor has been an impediment to mobility in the U.S. economy for decades.
However, if the United States moves to a universal health care system - one where every American has an opportunity to purchase health care insurance at an affordable rate (via subsidies) if a plan is not offered by their new employer, or if they can't afford a private plan - that eliminates a great deal of the 'health care coverage risk' that currently exists in the system.
The significance? Employees seeking a promotion, a career change, or a better work environment, will now make that change, and not remain in their current company/organization simply to retain health benefits. That will lead to a more-efficient and appropriate allocation of talent in the U.S. economy -- and free-up hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Benefits Portability: A Plus for Employees, Economy
And there will be positive implications for business formation, innovation, and U.S. GDP growth. Here are some examples:
-A advertising professional wants to start a new company, but doesn't, for fear that a health insurance shift will prevent his wife from continuing to receive health care benefits, because she has a serious pre-existing condition. With health care reform, he starts that new company, because his wife receive care coverage whatever plan he chooses. The law will require it.
-A 40-something wants to head back to graduate school for an advanced chemistry degree, but he doesn't, due to concerns about obtaining affordable health care insurance outside of his current employee. Under health care reform, he enters graduate school, because he knows, via a federal subsidy, he will be able to obtain affordable health care coverage.
-A single information technology professional likes his current company, but he thinks a better fit for him would be a smaller company only 5 miles from his home. His current 60-mile commute means he's away from his wife and daughter a great deal. However, he doesn't accept the post at the smaller company, due to concern about it's ability to maintain health care coverage. Under health care reform, he accepts the post, because the small business' health care costs will be more-affordable under the reform bill's provisions.
Economic Analysis: To be sure, the above is not to state that health care insurance is the only factor in a career decision, but the health care reform bill would increase benefits portability -- something the United States is well behind Europe on -- and any time benefits portability increases, it enhances the ability of talent to seek its highest and best use.
Business formation. Innovation. Americans going back to school to increase their skills or enter a field they believe is their calling. Talent seeking its highest and best use. U.S. GDP growth. All of the aforementioned sound like good things from a value-added standpoint, which is good news for investors, for the U.S. economy, and, employees.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- Twitter Photo Of British Medical Muslima Student Holding Severed Head
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Amner Hall Residence
- Australia's Imam Council Rebuffs Abbott Decision To Send Troops; Wants 'Islamic' Dropped From ISIS
- Spying Claims Muddle New Zealand Election as Dotcom Calls Key Gov't An 'American Slave'
- Germany to Send Soldiers to Iraq, Bans Displays of Support for ISIS
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8: Performance, CPU and Health
- Google Release Roundup: Nexus 5 2014, Nexus 6, Nexus 8 and Android L Killer Features
- Samsung Attacks iPhone 6 Plus Through New Galaxy Note 4 Commercial: Apple Claims Imitating Galaxy Note Phablets
- iPhone 6 And IPhone 6 Plus Sold Out, New Stocks To Arrive In October
- Moto G (Gen 2) vs. Xiaomi Redmi 1S—Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Nexus 6, 8 Release Dates Imminent as Moto X Pre-Order Begins & Nexus 7 Deals Ramp Up
- iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Shipping Has Begun, Expected To Reach Customers’ Doorstep On Sept 19 Launch Date