Evidence of safety nets as trampolines

There’s a spike in small-business formation when people become eligible for Medicare and don’t have to fear losing health insurance if they leave their jobs.

Just as James said, people in the U.S. become much more likely to start a small business when they become eligible for Medicare. That’s a like benefit of Obamacare that doesn’t often get mentioned.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

9 thoughts on “Evidence of safety nets as trampolines”

  1. How do we distinguish Medicare eligibility from Social Security eligibility. Perhaps the small-businesses are basic income dependent rather than healthcare dependent.

    1. Not hard to distinguish: Medicare eligibility turns from “off” to “on” when you turn 65. SS benefits are on a sliding scale; there’s no sharp penalty for retiring at 64.

  2. I don’t see how the study distinguishes “people start new business when they have access to non-employer-based health insurance” from “people start new businesses when they retire.”

  3. Just to say that “springboard” or “platform” are much better metaphors than “trampoline,” which suggests a certain wildness and riskiness.

    Social support programs provide tens of millions of people with stable platforms, springboards to move up into the realm of productive entrepreneurial enterprises.

  4. Well, if ObamaCare were Medicare for All, you might have a point. It has done nothing yet for my brother, the self-employed carpenter with a pre-existing congenital heart condition.

    This is also a point that I heard Michael Harrington make in an address at a meeting in NYC. In about 1978. Nothing new under the sun.

      1. Absolutely. Just ask my children. As for the evidence, it seems not to matter to the other half, starting with the election of 1980 or thereabouts.

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