Woman says she can quit her job thanks to Obamacare

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NEW YORK — Now that Karen Willmus can get health insurance through Obamacare, she plans to quit teaching 9th grade English at the end of the school year.

The 51-year-old found policies on the Colorado state exchange for about $300 a month. That’s less than what she’s paying now for employer-sponsored coverage and less than half what she paid on the individual market in 2007.

Like Willmus, millions of people could quit their jobs or cut back on their hours in coming years because of Obamacare, according to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office.

The report found that Obamacare could reduce the labor force by the equivalent of 2.5 million workers by 2024, as many Americans may opt to work less to retain eligibility for Medicaid or subsidies. That sparked a fresh round of criticism that health reform is hurting the economy.

But for some, Obamacare is allowing them to become entrepreneurs or retire a few years early since they’ll be able to find affordable individual coverage for the first time.

Instead of eating bonbons on her couch, Willmus plans to start her own business with her teen daughter publishing materials for non-native English speakers and others looking to improve their literacy. She expects to work even more than she does now and hire two or three people.

“I can’t afford to go out and buy insurance while trying to start a business,” said Willmus, of Colorado Springs, Colo. “Obamacare will allow me to be more comfortable at risking what I own.”

For others, Obamacare frees them to leave a job before they qualify for Medicare.

Edward Perri’s job as a grocery clerk has caused him constant back and knee pain in recent years, but he continued to work because he needed insurance. Obamacare allowed him to retire in December after 39 years, 4 months and 23 days on the job.

His retiring at 57 allowed a more junior employee to move up on the job, said Perri, who is single and lives in Muskegon, Mich. Had Obamacare not existed, he’d either have to try to tough it out until he qualified for Medicare at 65 or pay $500 a month for COBRA coverage.

Instead, he’s paying $50 a month for a policy. And, as he sees it, the $450 that he would have sent to an insurance company is going to buy groceries, fix his car and take a vacation with his girlfriend.

“That is money I spend in the local economy, creating and saving jobs,” he said.

Others may not retire right away, but Obamacare gives them more options to cut back or venture in another direction.

Craig Mason, 59, said he has felt tied to his job as an engineer at a large defense contractor because he and his wife needed health insurance. A diabetic, he couldn’t get affordable coverage on the individual market.

Now, however, he’s thinking of leaving his employer in a few years to focus more on his side job, repairing and building guitars and other string instruments. He also wants to spend more time with his three grandchildren.

“I want to try something different,” said Mason, a Germantown, Md., resident. “I don’t want to be tied to a large corporation. The Affordable Care Act may be just the vehicle to bridge the gap until I’m eligible for Medicare.”

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    • Curious

      No kidding. You are right on. I am just surprised they did not work in this article about how we all need to get some flu shots too.

  • allboymom

    If obamacare allows some to leave or cut back on their jobs, BUT also allows younger people to secure those jobs then I guess its a win win for everybody….somehow I just don’t know if that’s the right answer to our unemployment though……how about bringing manufactures back to the united states and allowing more jobs to be created for the economy?? Guess that makes too much sense for it to work?……

    • Janine

      By working less they may be able to qualify for federal assistance programs for housing and food. Thus, relying on the government more and more.

  • noseyone

    as I see it Obamacare is great for those of you that want it and believe it will help, and making insurance available for people, but I don’t think I should be FORCED into it

  • Robert B Bracey

    Have you heard about all the educational degrees the authors of this article have? They hold BS, MS, & PHD degrees. Bull Sh&$, More of the Same, & Piled High and Deep! I know this will not be posted due to ‘moderation’ but I had to vent!

  • Thomas

    Next time, just go ahead and include a link to heathcare.gov and to a link for voter registration on the Democratic Party’s website, Fox 8. So much for fair, balanced, and PROFESSIONAL journalism from today’s leg-hunching, Obama-loving media.

  • Duh huh

    That’s just awesome… Obamacare allows less than a fraction of a percent quit their job. Great propaganda story. Now what about the other 99 percent!?! Did people realize that when ACA is fully up & running that about 20 % of people won’t have insurance? Yea, sorta like it is now. Duh huh. Also, what about all the illegals using Emergency room services which has increased our cost. Going to start turning them away now, not! So, in the end, 20% will not have insurance & illegals will still be costing the healthcare system. Wow.

  • timco

    Wow, I didn’t know Fox8 had become a Government run propaganda news outlet. Next thing Fox8 will be telling us, if you believe in the Constitution that you are a problem for the US, oh I forgot, they already are saying that. So much for reporting the news, now it’s just Government Propaganda.

  • axekick

    Fox8 is as pro conservative as their parent company FOX news! I am amused at how fast you people turn on Fox8 when they share news that does not fit your mind set! If you believe something no proof is needed but when you don’t believe something no proof is sufficient!

  • timco

    Hey Axekick,

    Did you notice this is a repost from CNN, now I want to hear just how Conservative CNN is. Fox8 didn’t have to report this Government Proaganda, There is plenty of other real news that could have been posted. Don’t be such a Sheep

    • Axekick

      timco Fox8 knows it’s audience base and they post stories like this to keep you people stirred up no matter where they find them, just like going all over the country to find black on white! And many of you fall for it, just hits on a website $

    • Axekick

      timco Fox8 knows it’s audience base and they post stories like this to keep you people stirred up no matter where they find them, just like going all over the country to find black on white crime! And many of you fall for it, just hits on a website $

  • nikki

    Right…so the people that have to work their butts off will have to pay more so that most, NOT ALL, but most can sit at home on their lazy butts and do nothing!!!

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