Thursday, 16 July 2009

Democrats' House Healthcare Bill

I haven't read the Dem's house bill on healthcare or even read much commentary, but with that caveat I will say that I'm pretty sure that imposing heavier burdens on businesses in terms of providing health care insurance, as this bill is apparently doing, really can't be the way to go. Health care costs are already severely undermining the ability of US companies to compete in the global marketplace. Compromise is often a laudable thing, but in the case of the US healthcare system, I think it's so badly broken that we really need to start over from scratch. My solution, of course, would be to implement a universal single payer system, I think the data shows that this is very efficient and effective. To see how this translates into global competitiveness one need only research the competitive advantage that Canadian car plants are afforded, as compared to their US counterparts, by the fact that they don't have to buy healthcare for each worker. But, even if my solution isn't the solution ultimately implemented, I'd argue that going further down the road of employer provided healthcare deepens the long term problem.

(And I apologize for sounding like a pro-business blowhard. I'm not a huge fan of globalization and in general, arguments about cutting benefits because the global marketplace demands it are unconvincing to me. But in this case I think the global marketplace is effectively underscoring a huge inefficiency in the US marketplace, an inefficiency that we ignore at our peril.)

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