Were it not for Obamacare, Lauren Braum, would be confronting a phenomenon that economists call “job lock”: when people stay in jobs they dislike, or don’t want, solely to keep their health coverage.
When she was in college, Lauren Braun created a business making and selling silicone bracelets that function as punch cards, to remind mothers about upcoming vaccination appointments. After college, she set the business aside and got a real job.
A year and a half later, she got word that her bracelet company, Alma Sana, might have a life after all: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had awarded her $100,000 to test the idea. Braun was O.K. with the 60 percent pay cut she would take by quitting her day job. But she did not want to lose her health insurance.