Until recently, Mike Smith, 64, of Long Beach, Calif., worked 11 hours a day, Monday through Friday and then half a day on Saturday. He was a district manager for a national auto parts chain.Here's an even more compelling story: that of 31-year-old Rebecca Murray and her husband, a freelance information technology worker who has chronic spinal arthritis. Murray had to stay in a job she didn't like so that she could maintain health insurance for him. Now she doesn't. She just started a new online business geared to help other families deal with chronic illnesses.
He dreamed of retiring early, but it wasn't an option for him because he and his wife relied on the health insurance tied to his job. […]
The couple now has a private health insurance policy bought through Covered California, the state's insurance marketplace. It costs $200 a month. […]
Smith says he's now also able to take care of his elderly in-laws and his 2-year-old grandchild. He gets to practice his guitar more often, too.
"It's thrilling, it's exciting, it's kind of like taking a leap into the unknown—and I know it's a big risk," Murray says of her new venture. "But this really is allowing me to finally step into what I feel is truly satisfying for the soul." Just a year ago, she adds, "I was convinced I would be a renal social worker for the next 30-something years and just raise my kids—and hope they could live out their dreams instead."That's just the kind of entrepreneurial spirit the Republican Party used to champion. Who knows, her business might even grow to the point that she becomes one of their vaunted "job creators." But if they had their way now, Murray and millions more like her would be stuck in dead-end jobs.