- A newly released survey of Harvard Business School alumni finds healthcare costs are the number one barrier to entrepreneurship in the United States.
- The report notes that conversely, the cost of healthcare was rated the least significant barrier for entrepreneurs outside the US.
- The report details how the quality of healthcare relative to cost is a key element in the national business environment.
While US healthcare is often compared to that in other countries, this report points not toward the differences in general cost and care delivery, but toward a negative impact from those differences.
Healthcare costs were the only major disadvantage to entrepreneurship identified for the US, with 64% of US respondents citing them as a barrier, versus 28% of non-US respondents.
"This result presumably reflects the availability of government-sponsored healthcare in other countries," the study authors write. "It supports the growing concern that America’s employer-based healthcare system has created 'job lock' for some aspiring entrepreneurs, who hesitate to leave employers that provide healthcare coverage."
Respondents also noted concern about high operating costs particularly related to healthcare.
As Forbes notes, the US spends about 70% more as a percentage of GDP on healthcare but has a slightly lower life expectancy than other wealthy countries with similar demographics such as Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.