Obamacare and Innovation: #GeeksGetCovered

By Dennis Crouch

Over the years, I have spoken with a substantial number of potential entrepreneurs who do not make the leap and instead remain employees. The most common justification for the inertial phenomenon is that the job provides benefits – namely health care coverage. Part of the hope for the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is that it can provide a straightforward and cost-effective way for these entrepreneurs to have some family security on the health care front that is not dependent upon a regular employer. The White House is announcing its #GeeksGetCovered publicity campaign on this front. See the video:

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White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park writes:

Geeks are a critical driver of America’s innovation ecosystem, from the entrepreneurs launching startups in Silicon Valley to the scientists experimenting in university research labs to the whiz kids building gadgets in their parents’ garages.

The Obama Administration cares deeply about innovation, and about helping to make sure that geeks across the country, those coming up with new discoveries and exciting inventions—and creating jobs along the way—have the freedom and security to keep innovating. 

It will be interesting to watch this issue moving forward.

44 thoughts on “Obamacare and Innovation: #GeeksGetCovered

  1. Speaking of Obamacare news I just saw this little diddy. Here’s a republican lady that “doesn’t believe that its true that obamacare is saving her money”. This apparently stems from her being terribly bad at math. Maybe in order to lessen republican push back we should offer, under obamacare, remedial math lessons.

    link to huffingtonpost.com

    1. For every old republican lady bad at math, there must be thousands of young democrat geeks (of both genders) good at math that are ripping Obamacare to pieces.

      What are you going to offer in the way of democrat push back lessons?

      /facepalm

      1. I was unaware of there being a huge democratic pushback to obamacare. But if there is such a thing, I guess they can have remedial math lessons as well.

        As to the alleged thousands of geeks, idk brosef, got some citations to such? I’ve seen no evidence of such.

        1. LOL – gee it must be everyone else is going the wrong way down this one way street, and only 6 is going the right way…

          /facepalm

  2. I think geeks and potential entrepreneurs will, in much higher numbers than the general population, understand and take advantage of the changes in preexisting-condition exclusions. Under the new system, any rational person who’s not getting insurance from an employer should self insure as long as he’s healthy. For a healthy person it’s cheaper to self insure, and there’s no longer any downside risk.

    1. understand and take advantage

      You did not read any of the comments on the twitchy.com page did you?

      The plan is being heavily panned by the geeks and those who understand.

        1. That’s pretty clear – you cannot be bothered with actually seeing what is going on and just wanted to make a statement that you feel sounds good.

          Try reading my post, going to the twitchy.com page and see for yourself that what you want to be true isn’t quite there.

  3. I’m not in favor of subsidizing anyone, whether it be a “enterpreneur”, a multinational corporation or a farmer. Earn your own keep, for god’s sake!

    1. Government ‘redistribution’ is a given (those that have that power will not let it go under any condition).

      The battle then is to whom the distribution goes, how that distribution is to be obtained, and what, if any Quo is to be gathered.

      Relating this concept back to patents, as those that kick up dust of foodstamps and other government programs that help the needy often (purposefully) omit, the patent system has an active Quid Pro Quo mechanism. Further, in patents, the system is run not at public expense, but at innovator expense. In fact, there is an illicit innovator tax scheme that has fought every effort to end the mechanism of divergence of innovator funds into the general coffers.

  4. “The Obama administration cares deeply about innovation …”

    Unless you’d like to protect it with a patent, of course.

    1. Steve,

      That was government speak for

      The Obama administration cares deeply about freely copying innovation …

      ;-)

    2. Obama definitely is scary at this point. What is scary is that he no longer believes in an open process. He has decided to burn it down and is doing it secretly.

      1. To that point, who exactly is running the patent office? Who is in charge of creating patent policy at the highest (Senate-vetted) level?

  5. Is a federal employee really referring to engineers with the disrespectful term “geek”, a term that still refers to an exploited sideshow fool who bites the heads off of chickens for a living? Ignorant attempts at pseudo-hipness are no excuse for government personnel to use derogatory terms, even in this hippest of all administrations. A properly modest government should feel constrained to maintain a bit more decorum than the marketing arm of Best Buy.

    And I don’t know that I share the giddiness that ObamaCare will free entrepreneurs to go out on their own – but I’m pretty sure once they are there, ObamaCare will limit the number of employees they will hire onshore. But that’s OK, Indians need jobs too. If you want an omelet, you gotta break a few eggs, a saying from a source with whom I suspect the current administration has more than a passing familiarity.

    1. No kidding. As a federal employee and an engineer, I prefer the term “nerd”.

  6. Interesting.

    At twitchy.com, this was the message: “We still wonder: if Obamacare was so desperately wanted by the American people, why is it such an effort to sell it? Maybe some geeks can explain.

    1. Seems like they might be making up a false dilemma. It has been my exp that it hasn’t been so much “difficult to sell” as it is simply “still pretty expensive” and “people don’t know about the benefits they can get to help pay”. Of course, it’s also a “tough sell” where the person is below the poverty line and doesn’t qualify for obamacare and the (super conservative) state gov that where that person resides has refused to expand medicare to cover them.

      So it’s really more of a problem getting the word out, getting somewhat lazy people to take action, and finally, some of them still not being able to afford the thing since they’re below poverty and their state won’t give them medicare.

      Of course, there are other potential problems with the implementation of the law, but I won’t go into all that.

      1. Medicaid, not Medicare.

        One should read the original statute and the SCOTUS decision to understand just how expanded Medicaid came about, what was originally required, and how its constitutionality was finally adjudicated.

        It also helps to understand that expanded Medicaid can quite easily leave states on the financial hook in the event the USG renegs on its promise to pay. Unlike the USG, many, if not most, states are required by law to balance their budgets.

        1. Yeah my bad had a typo and replaced it with the completely wrong word. And yes of course the decision is a major factor as well as the states resposibilities and budgets etc. I’m certainly not necessarily blaming the states if that was what you took from what I said , I merely meant to lay out the current problem in a general way. There’s plenty more smaller problems underlying the bigger ones.

    2. Obama care is like requiring everybody to have a car, but not just any car, a really good car, like a Cadillac. Next, if some people can afford it, we raise fees and everybody else and provide subsidies. This is fair — because why should some people have Cadillacs and others not.

      Can anybody see the fallacies in the above arguments and assumptions?

        1. 6, while I think most Americans support the idea of assuring that every American has health insurance, affordable health insurance, it doesn’t mean that we support giving every American Cadillac policies especially when most of us can afford Cadillac policies ourselves. What we would support would be catastrophic insurance at a minimum, and little bit more to the extent that we can afford it as a country. But we should not have started off with an attempt to provide every American with the same kind of plan that members of Congress have. Forcing us to buy such insurance when we cannot afford it and forcing us to pay subsidies for others who also cannot afford it because they’re poor is simply not what we asked Obama to do.

          1. especially when most of us can afford Cadillac policies ourselves

            A dangerous (and unwarranted) assumption Ned.

            But we should not have started off with an attempt to provide every American with the same kind of plan that members of Congress have

            And how in the world would you have supported that plan? Print more money?

            1. “A dangerous (and unwarranted) assumption Ned.”

              Idk about that. Looks to me like it should be rather doable at the prices I’m seeing. If you’re interested in doing that and have a decent job. Of course I’m rather concerned by the manner in which they’re imposing this burden but meh, supreme court signed off on it as a “tax”. What’s an ordinary person supposed to do?

              “And how in the world would you have supported that plan? Print more money?”

              I just saw a TED talk discussing how we likely could simply print more money to support the aid giving the country does in foreign countries every year. Notably he was talking about specifically if we printed the money to boost our spending up to half of what our (the 3 rich countries GB/Amer/Jap that generally do aid) goal has been over the last decade or so the risk of inflation should be near 0 if all the money is spent outside the countries doing the printing and the risk of depreciation of the dollar/pound/yen resulting from that spending should be negligible. If you haven’t seen it yet it’s an interesting take on the subject from a finance guy.

            2. We’re all skeptical re re. That was the point of the talk. Noting that emperical data from the recession indicated that perhaps we ought not be.

              You’re super dmb you know that?

          2. yeah idk what you’re talking about Ned. Most plans I see on the exchanges have a deductable of 5000+. That’s not a cadillac plan in my book. Sorry. Just isn’t.

            Not to mention that from what I understand not 10 years ago standard plans had deductables of 500$. Now standard plans out in the general market also have 5000$ deductables and they have substantially greater premiums. That’s an order of magnitude in a decade. And to top it off, they have the balls to raise premiums along with the deductable.

            Either way a lot of you old guys seem to think health insurance companies are your friends or are “good” or some sht. They’re not. Sht should have been outlawed by now, and would be but for the established legacy insurance industry, along with the dumbass public perception thereof, that our parents gifted to us.

            In either event there’s plenty of lesser plans on the exchanges. 150$/mo. ones around my area for someone like myself. I can get silver for 250 and gold for like 290. 3600/year if it cost 300$/mo. 1800/year if 150$/mo. Any one of those is affordable to me. And would still be affordable to me if I made 40k. If you aren’t making 40k, then you should be getting subsidies and I’d recommend one of the lesser options. If you’re making 10k or less you get medicaid around these I belieb.

            Mandating that someone that makes 40k take 1.8k to get themselves some insurance is hardly what I’d call “burdensome”. 1.8/40th of your income for coverage on health costs seems like a frakin bargain. If they’re making less then they’re getting subsidies so it costs them even less of a percentage.

            Though I agree with you re that the american people probably would not have wanted all the bells and whistles mandated. Most of them probably are completely unaware of why they’d even want such a thing. But obama did manage to get that done.

            Man I saw that thing about convicts being a huge portion of the population benefitting from obamacare though yesterday. And that was hilarious that it’s just now being noted.

            1. 5,000 + deductible? Do you think that might be because pre-existing conditions are automatically covered?

              Yes, I would agree that is hardly Cadillac. But, congress did mandate a lot of coverage a lot of people do not need, and they do not have the option of reducing the scope of coverage, as far as I know, to reduce premiums.

              You do know that the whole point for this is to raise the premiums on the young who do not use their full benefits to pay for the poor and the people over 50 who need health insurance a lot more than people under 40. Because of this, the policy costs of the young are going to go up and up quite a bit.

              Welcome to welfare. The people who benefit from all this thank you in advance. Now get back to work, you need to support your poor or elderly neighbor.

            2. Ned bemoans “Welcome to welfare.

              “From those according to their ability, to those according to their needs” smells like a different flower than ‘welfare.’

              The rose smells like Jane’s favorite.

            3. Ned the 5000 became the standard years before obamacare came into mainstream politics. So no it isn’t a reaction to preexisting being covered. It was the insurance companies jacking rates and paying out less. Why not? There’s very little competition. That’s a reason why obamacare prevents them from skimming more than 15%.

              And yes there’s plenty of shrinking coverage that they can play around with still left. O care just sets a bare minimum floor.

              Stop think the insurance man is your friend ffs. He is not. He is there to make a buck from other peoples misfortunes along with fears thereof. And he always wants more bucks for doing less. Couple the with state regulations limiting competition and you have a perfect storm for abuse.

              And yes I do know that such is part of the “whole” point. The other major parts are to get people that can afford it but choose not to afford it to get it and be responsible and not burden emergency room high dollar services on taxpayers dimes. Along with arresting the absurd upward tick in costs year over year. Along with shrink the amount of financial ruin “preexisting conditions” brings on the country as a whole. Likewise to establish a floor for the what insurance can cover so that you dont have people misled into having a worthless plan that they thought was a much better plan ( prevent just sticking what isnt covered in fine print in language normal people dont undrstand). Oh and finally to prop p the insurance industry while doing all that. Probably a few more I forgot.

              From android lulz.

    3. if Obamacare was so desperately wanted by the American people, why is it such an effort to sell it? Maybe some geeks can explain.

      Maybe some bottom-feeding grifters in the insurance industry can explain it you.

  7. The reality is that this circumstance will be a fleetingly small number of people compared with the number of people like Nancy Pelosi’s voting block: they want to be an artist, smoke dope and have somebody else pay for their healthcare, food, and shelter.

    1. “Nancy Pelosi’s voting block: they want to be an artist, smoke dope and have somebody else pay for their healthcare, food, and shelter.”

      I hear that.

      I also heard a big time artist saying the other day that over the course of her career she kind of realized that being an artist or producing any art is just being selfish. I think the population wanting to be artists really need the high up artists to explain to them that being an artist, indeed making any “artsy art”, is just plain ol being selfish. Not that there is inherently anything wrong with that, but it might help them

      1. just plain ol being selfish. Not that there is inherently anything wrong with that

        LOL – so you started your Adam Smith reading assignment, then…

    2. While I don’t agree with everything Nancy Pelosi does, if I could vote for her, I would, and I am not an artist, don’t smoke dope, and pay for my own healthcare, food, and shelter. My family’s healthcare costs alone are about $27,000/year, and I pay all of it.

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