Health Coverage a 'Gift' to Ourselves
One of the more curious "gifts" in Mitt Romney's list of ways Barack Obama allegedly bought off voters was letting young people up to the age of 26 stay on their parents' health plan. It was a gift, all right, a gift to America.
How so? Consider this finding in a RAND study on whether employer-based health insurance is a barrier to entrepreneurship: The rate of new business formations jumps at or around age 65 (particularly in the month that the person turns 65). What happens at age 65 is that Americans qualify for Medicare.
The authors of the study (Robert W. Fairlie, Kanika Kapur and Susan M. Gates) found the spike in business starts by those around 65 to be the purest evidence of "entrepreneurship lock" -- the notion that many would-be entrepreneurs stay stuck in jobs for fear of losing health coverage.