Why Trump and the GOP’s Healthcare Approach is a Barrier to Entrepreneurs

As small business owners, my wife and I are one of the 18 million individually insured families in the United States. In addition, since I’ve been in the tech community in Minnesota for my entire career (and also published Minnov8.com for over a decade), I know all too well the only way most startups can happen is if a spouse has healthcare insurance. You’ll see why in a moment.

This morning I received an email from our Minnesota healthcare insurance exchange called MNSure about a ‘sneak peak’ at 2018 health care plans. I immediately went there and discovered that the plan we’ve been on for 2017 has our family monthly premium rising by $200 a month to *over* $2,000.

The ‘range’ for our out-of-pocket medical expenditures go from a yearly “low at $25,115” (for which there is a 17% chance we’d actually be on the low side) to a “bad at $37,815” (and a 12% chance at that). The average is $31,155.

When you add up all the out-of-pocket prescriptions and little “nits” we pay, I’m gonna guess we’ll shell out $35,000 or so like we did the last couple of years.

WHO THE HELL CAN AFFORD THAT KIND OF AFTER-TAX MONEY!?! More to the point, even with a Health Savings Account (HSA) — which can’t be used for the $24,514.80 in premiums we’ll pay for 2018 — the total amount we will pay out for medical stuff is 73% of the U.S. mean household income (that mean is $72,641 and I’m assuming a conservative and low 35% paid in taxes).

Yes, Affordable Care Act subsidies still exist, but don’t Trump and his GOP minions truly understand that the #1 roadblock to startups in the U.S. is the enormity of individually insuring one’s family?

There is no f__ing way I’d start up a tech company today if my family was still young and take the risk of no insurance — or having a wildly expensive plan that would virtually guarantee we’d fail without significant VC backing — since there were many times in our past small business owning lives when we didn’t take a salary, sometimes for a couple of months at a time.

Hope they think about this as they stumble their way forward trying to hide the fact they don’t give a shit about the lower, middle or upper middle classes in America.

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  1. Alan Geeves on October 18, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    In New Zealand We have a sort of free health care with public hospitals paid for and GPs heavily subsidised For an adult a GP visit is about $50. Drugs are also subsidised if they are on a list. Many drugs not on the list are not available.

    However the average workers total tax which pays for healthcare education armed forces welfare etc is still about the same as your health insurance

  2. Steve Borsch on October 19, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Hi Alan. Interesting that many drugs not on the approved list are not available. Does that mean you cannot buy them in New Zealand?

    Regarding taxes, it appears from the income tax levels shown in this Wikipedia article that you have a flat tax, but with a 12.5% “goods and services” tax. As such, you are effectively paying what we are at many of those same levels (our U.S. levels shown in that article do not include State taxes).

    Guess regardless of where we live, we’d better not get sick!

  3. Alan Geeves on October 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Drugs for common ailments are easily available although our pharmaceutical buying agency will switch to generic forms of any medicine when they become available. This was one of the major sticking points with the TPPA talks although tppa was worthy of a blog all of its own until it pretty much died. New drugs can be slow to become available especially if the data isnt showing 100% effectiveness. Our agencys wait till they get approval elsewhere then study them and decide how useful they will be here which can add a year or 2 to the approval then they have to find funding for it which with very expensive drugs can be a stumbling point. They wont pay 200000+ for a treatment that has a 50% chance of total success. Also if a disease is rare they dont pay for expensive treatments. In a country of 4 million people rare could mean that there isnt always someone suffering from that disease. However when that last major bird flu epidemic went round 20 million was spent on tamiflu just in case. Nearly all of it expired and was dumped unused.
    I knew our taxes were quite similar but at the same time you have to consider excise taxes on fuel and booze and tobacco which add a tidy some to the system. Also the countrys debt is not monstrously high and I think you would not like to see the interest bill on your debt. That money has an interest rate around 5% so on a trillion $ debt thats a large chunk of the tax take. Your current president isnt afraid of borrowing even more

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.