Health Care

Kelly of Byzantium Shores picked up on the health care item from a couple of days ago, and notes:
My question about this plan, though, is this: just how much of the monetary savings to employers who will no longer be paying for health insurance plans on their employees' behalf will be passed on to the employees, in the form of increases wages or salary? Somehow I doubt it will be much. Add in the fact that individuals aren't going to be able to get the cheaper bulk rates for insurance that companies get, and...well, gee whiz, hand me the pen so I can sign right up.
Exactly. Have you ever noticed that businesses - private and public - that treat their employees the best, seem to do really, really well despite the increased cost? Wegmans is a prime example. Even Starbucks offers health coverage to its part-time baristas. I don't see the mega-corporations that are clamoring for *ahem* someone else to pay their employees' health insurance costs increasing salaries one red cent. That doesn't pay off in short-term shareholder gain, therefore it won't be done. There are some enlightened exceptions, but screwing the employees is the rule. Craig posted:
You seem convinced that someone else should be obliged to pay for your healthcare (employer or government) and I doubt I'll change your mind. But why do you suppose we've come this point where that attitude predominates? Alan, you pay for your health insurance. Period. Your salary would be higher if your employer didn't buy it for you. If you had to buy it yourself, you'd look for a plan that was not only affordable but which best met your family's needs -- according to your own risk-taking assessment. In short, you'd shop around just as you do for your car insurance. I've had a cold that has dragged on a for a couple weeks now. Nothing serious (since the first couple days), but a raspy voice makes it noticeable to everyone. I can't tell you how many well-meaning co-workers and friends have asked me if I've been to the doctor. FOR A COLD! Now doctors are only too happy to take $100 for a visit because of an illness they can do nothing about....I think that paying you the cost of your policy, your buying what fits you, and the availability of high-deductible catastrophic coverage is just exactly what will rein in the growing health care costs.
My reply: I'm not worried about the $100 charge for colds. But the working poor are. I don't subscribe to the idea that government shouldn't promote the general welfare and health of people who work very hard for no benefits and little money. Ironically, the layabouts who sit around on welfare can get full coverage. If you make a claim against your car insurance (and you're at fault) or homeowners', your rate goes up. Or you get dropped. We can't afford to have that system for health care. Every single industrialized nation provides and guarantees universal health care. Some through private/public schemes, some via single payer. Although Canada's system is by no means perfect (neither is ours, BTW), a vast majority of Canadians are perfectly happy with their system, thanks. They're so proud of it, they named Tommy Douglas the Greatest Canadian of all Time. Maybe a little socialism - so long as it is available to, and helps, all - isn't such a bad idea.

No comments: