Donald Trump may cast Obamacare as a job killer. But some entrepreneurs say they couldn’t have started their businesses without it.
Obamacare has freed them from depending on employers for health insurance. Instead, they told CNNMoney they can pursue their own American Dreams and work for themselves while getting coverage through the exchanges.
The President-elect’s promise to repeal Obamacare next year has left these small business owners fearful that they will have to dismantle everything they’ve worked for and return to the corporate sector just to remain insured.
A fresh Financial Times report profiles a newer breed of tech healthcare entrepreneur. One such entrepreneur, Josh Kushner, founder of an insurer calling itself “Oscar,” says, “the consumer never mattered in healthcare, and for the first time ever the consumer does matter, because they are making choices on their own.”
Yet, while this quote alludes to opportunities for businesses in the healthcare arena, another quote by Kushner may bear closer scrutiny, even a reading between the lines, “We can have engineers look at [any industry] and say ‘this doesn’t make any sense,’ and do it better. There’s government, education, financial services . . . but healthcare is the most screwed up — it is a total train wreck.”
Does a “total train wreck” at the end of the day ultimately mean that perceived governmental ineptitudes in healthcare translate into an Achilles heel for healthcare tech overall?
So far so good for people like Kushner. The Financial Times Report (online, May 5, 2015 by Aaron Stanley) says, “In addition to Obamacare’s cost-cutting pressures, it’s more politically controversial mandate of requiring people to obtain health insurance has forced millions of Americans to deal directly with the complexities of the healthcare system – creating opportunities for consumer education and choice.” Here, opportunity seems to abound for tech company start-ups.
Another healthcare tech startup businessman, Sean Duffy, according to the Financial Times Story, “swears by Obamacare, as the act is known informally, and generously credits it as the catalyst for the launch of Omada Health, his digital platform.” This is thanks literally to page 879 of the 906 page Affordable Care Act.
Duffy describes his “light bulb moment.” It was during his internship with a consulting firm in Palo Alto California, where, according to The Financial Times, “he drew up a business model that would tap into ACA funds allocated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. national public health institute, for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.” Duffy told FT, “We wouldn’t have any customers without the ACA doing this.”
The author discusses six companies that will be economically successful as they work with hospitals, insurance providers and others attempting to meet Obamacare law deadlines: Health Recovery Solutions, Eligible, GoHealth, QuantiaMD, Connecture, hCentive.