NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When Rob walked out of his high-flying corporate job to start a tech business, the cost of his health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield skyrocketed to $13,500 a year. In addition, he would face deductions of $15,000 to retain insurance for his family.
A shocked Rob turned to Pacific Source, his insurance agency at the company he just left. Contrary to his expectations, he received a rejection letter because of an antidepressant he had been taking. Rob is now on an Affordable Healthcare plan, which has saved him $5,200 a year.
Known informally as Obamacare, the Affordable Healthcare Act, or the ACA, provides millions of entrepreneurs like Rob access to group plans that were previously available only to employees of big-brand corporations. Small business owners are increasingly saying that the ACA will give a fillip to the national economy by safeguarding the health of their employees and freeing them up to focus on strategic business growth, rather than the drudgery of expensive and unsustainable health insurance formalities for their staff.
"The ACA succeeds in addressing how governments and organizations can integrate affordable living expenses into existing programs for entrepreneurs and their ventures," said Kimberly Adams, a managing partner for Flying Bridges, a social enterprise consultancy in Massachusetts. "As a small enterprise, there's no way we could ever afford insurance for our staff. But now, the ACA has made our business more competitive in terms of attracting top talent."
Questions have emerged in connection with how the ACA has hit a home run when a wobbly start to its roll-out last year became a Gordian Knot for Democrats and a bull's eye for Republicans. A few political analysts say that Mr. Obama has won the cooperation of reluctant pharma giants with assurances that the new universal healthcare program would enhance their bottom lines by at least 5% to 10%.
Beyond all expectations, more than 7.1 million people signed up for coverage under the ACA this year, exceeding a Congressional Budget Office estimate that at least 7 million citizens would enroll in the health insurance program from October 2013 through March 2014.