12:17 PM EDT
America is full of geeks—and that’s a really good thing. Geeks are a critical driver of America’s innovation ecosystem, from the entrepreneurs launching startups in Silicon Valley to the scientists experimenting in university research labs to the whiz kids building gadgets in their parents’ garages.
The Obama Administration cares deeply about innovation, and about helping to make sure that geeks across the country, those coming up with new discoveries and exciting inventions—and creating jobs along the way—have the freedom and security to keep innovating.
That’s why today we are launching #GeeksGetCovered, an effort focused on raising awareness, sharing stories, and encouraging healthcare enrollment among geeks, innovators, and entrepreneurs.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans finally have the security that comes from quality, affordable health coverage. And, millions more have better, more reliable coverage than ever before. The Affordable Care Act also means that this year, geeks, entrepreneurs, researchers, and others can now make the decision to innovate and pursue their dreams without fear of losing coverage or worrying that a preexisting condition or new illness will bankrupt their families.
As the President said last year, “If you’ve got a great idea for your own business but you’ve never tried it because your spouse had a preexisting condition and you didn’t want to lose your employer-based coverage, you’ve got the ability now to get your own coverage. That’s security. That’s freedom.”
Today, there is strong evidence that when affordable healthcare isn’t exclusively tied to employment, in more instances people choose to start their own companies. For example:
- A recent study estimates that because high-quality health insurance coverage will no longer be tied exclusively to one’s employer, the number of self-employed Americans could increase by up to 1.5 million in 2014.
- Another study indicates that the Affordable Care Act has already boosted entrepreneurship rates by providing young innovators coverage that helps them chase their dreams.
- Another study shows that Americans are more likely to start a business at age 65 than at age 64, after they have the security of healthcare through Medicare.
And what’s true for entrepreneurs launching the next company is just as true for PhD students or part-time researchers working to expand the frontiers of human knowledge. These scientists researching a cure for the deadliest diseases or creating game-changing technologies have more options today than ever before to access affordable, quality health insurance in the new insurance marketplaces.
So to all the geeks out there: we’d love to hear from you on social media about what affordable coverage means to you as a geek using #GeeksGetCovered. View the video from geeks at the White House to fellow geeks across America and check out Healthcare.gov today!