Health Care and the Creative Life

Just thinking: Obamacare may well raise America’s creative capital — from the arts to invention, entrepreneurs to public intellectuals.

I’m hearing a lot these days in reaction to a CBO study showing that one effect of national health care is that fewer people will work full-time. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone say that they feel hobbled, tied to a job they dislike or even hate because “at least it gives me and family health care.” It’s no surprise to me, then, that without having to worry about signing on with a huge business in order to get affordable health care some people will elect to leave such jobs.

This is not a bad thing. Au contraire. Reading the Guardian piece by concert pianist James Rhodes (thanks to Steven Pressfield) further convinced me. Just imagine (key word here) giving the twenty-something presently answering phones for a credit card company the freedom to pursue her dream of sustainable fashion design, knowing that she may be making pennies on the corporate dollar but doing something that she loves and believes in and that’s good for everybody. Or imagine the divorced father of three able to leave the 9 to 5 (which is really a 5 to 9, when you consider the commute and the email and the performance eval prep and the presentations and…) demonstrate to his children the sacrifice and joy of pursuing one’s passion — solving an ineffieciency with invention, building a community cafe, becoming an expert able to share ground-breaking ideas and engage in productive debate.

The examples are endless. Sure there will be problems associated with such a shift. Others are flagging those even as I type. But I believe that there will also be tremendous upsides to the flight from some jobs (into new ones) probably impossible to measure but enriching to America in all sorts of wonderful ways.


  1. This. Is something I had not realized! Sounds good.

    • Kristin Swenson says:

      If I were the make-a-study-of-it-type, I would! I think this has tremendous upside potential for new jobs and exciting growth as people pursue true vocations. Thanks for your comment!

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