A Modest Health Care Proposal 1 comment

Is a single payer national health care system inevitable? John Cole thinks so:

I think the fight over some form of nationalized health care is over, and that we will one day have a European-style system in place. The only question is when big business will successfully pressure the government to take over and how much of their current health care funding responsibilities they can manage to lay at the feet of government.

A couple of thoughts. First, it is not at all clear that business will really come out ahead if they push all health care costs onto the government. Government will expect businesses to contribute pay taxes in an amount similar to what they are already paying for employee health care. And, you can expect this amount to continue to rise.

Second, and this leads to the modest proposal, businesses do not really have any health care funding responsibilities today. Many, especially large, businesses do include the cost of some or all of a health insurance maintenance plan in their compensation packages. But what they include they can take out. It is simply a matter of providing a competitive compensation package that allows them to hire the quality of employees they need to be successful.

A better way to get out of the health care funding bind than inviting the government deeper into their revenue streams would be for businesses to eliminate health maintenance plans from their compensation packages. This will be easier in non-union businesses but should still be achievable for all that see these costs as a problem.

How does a business make this step. Take the total cost per employee that is going toward a health maintenance plan today and make that part of the employees cash compensation. The new total becomes the forward going salary. The employee then may purchase what ever type of maintenance or insurance plan they choose.

One thought on “A Modest Health Care Proposal

  • driftwood

    Since there are high costs for everyone from treating uninsured people, what about then requiring minimal health insurance like we require auto insurance? There could be a sliding scale program where the government helps pick up the tab for people (and their kids) who are too poor to pay for it themselves.
    But I do agree that it would be good to split health care from employment.

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