Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Why Uber loves Obamacare

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Jason Millman has an interesting article in the Washington Post:

As Obamacare’s second-ever enrollment period getsunderway, the program has a big cheerleader in Silicon Valley: the chief executive of Uber, the ambitious ridesharing company that lets private car owners overnight become professional drivers.

Travis Kalanick, also a co-founder of Uber, said the health-care law has been “huge” for his business. By creating a functioning individual market for health insurance, people have more flexibility to pursue the jobs they want, Kalanick said.

“The democratization of those types of benefits allow people to have more flexible ways to make a living,” Kalanick said during a Friday night dinner for reporters, according to Buzzfeed. “They don’t have to be working for The Man.”

More than half of insured Americans still get their coverage through the workplace, though the rate has been declining over the past decade. Drivers for Uber are classified as independent contractors, so the company does not offer them insurance. 

Kalanick’s comments highlight one of the arguments that supporters of the Affordable Care Act make for the law. By making it easier and more affordable for people to buy health insurance coverage on their own, people won’t have to stay in jobs they don’t want just for the health benefits.

This concept is known as “job lock,” and we have some idea just how prevalent it is. About 27 percent of employees cited workplace health insurance as the main reason for staying in their jobs or not retiring, according to 2004 survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.  A 2008 Harvard Business School study found about 11 million people stayed in their jobs just for the health insurance.

For a company like Uber, this also isn’t just about people not having to stay in jobs they don’t like to get health care. It’s also about people being able to jobs they do like that don’t provide health care.

But there’s also flipside to Kalanick’s argument. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 November 2014 at 10:45 am

Posted in Business, Healthcare

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