What's the healthcare bill mean to us -- that is, to computing developers generally resident in the US, not-unionized, often with multiple revenue streams, reasonably high-income but subject to project cancellation without notice, and so on? The subject's far too big for anyone to be conclusive already, and I certainly don't know enough to explain it. What I can do, though, is report on what smart experts have told me:
The usual quality journalistic organizations have scrambled their staffs to focus on this legislation. My colleague Tom Henderson pointed me to Reuter's summary as particularly useful and succinct. The Washington Post continues its professional approach with this news piece on the vote. David Gewirtz, about whom I've written before, weighs in with his usual blunt talk centered on the reality that the legislation doesn't appear to disentangle the central reality of the US system that health-care is mostly linked to employment.
Pam Baker will be covering the consequences of the legislation for some time to come. Off the top of her head, though, she pointed out to me that the Small Business Administration and state insurance commissioner's office, along with such private advisers as CPAs, should be good sources of counsel. Plenty of us in IT bounce around between statuses as employees, sole proprietorships, agency contractors, and corporation owners, and passage of the bill makes it timely to review how to manage those different roles optimally. My summary of what I've learned so far:
- change will be mostly incremental, in the short term;
- there's no profit (at least to us) in panic; and
- we'll have at least a couple of months to make crucial decisions.
As we figure out what it all means for our boutique consulting company (should we insure our employees? Must we? What happens to our existing benefits?), I'll update Smart Development's readers periodically.
In the meantime, there's big news in more conventional IT topics: later this week, I'll look again at SVG and high-performance hardware.