Business and the Public Option

Opposition to the public option in health care is an economic mistake. Private insurance costs too much, limits and denies services, and insures only healthy people. Employers and employees carry an intolerable cost with no limits, growing at twice or three times the rate of the economy. Half of all bankruptcies are because of medical costs. Under the current system, if you lose your job between 50 and 65 years of age, employers won?t hire you because older workers on the payroll increase their medical plan costs. If you are laid off at 50, you will most likely be underemployed or unemployed and without insurance until you reach 65 and qualify for government-funded Medicare. The cost of private health care to individuals is being widely discussed, and by now only people who are willfully illiterate can fail to know that the public option would be better for individuals. If you don?t know this, read something.
On the business side, the staggering cost of health care to companies diminishes our ability to compete in the world economy. Whatever business you are running, from a college to a barbershop, a person in any other developed nation can do better for less money and make more profit, because their government picks up the tab for employee health care. Sure, taxes are a bit higher, but with taxes as in other areas you get what you pay for. The employer cost of private health care is the second highest cost after employee salaries for most American businesses. Employers pay this because until now government, influenced by obligation to corporate donors to campaigns, has refused to pick up the responsibility for insuring the health of the American workforce. The public option that is on the table now is a true stimulus package for American businesses. It is a mistake for business to feel kinship with medical insurance companies because they are ?businesses.? They have no product that contributes to or enhances your product or makes you operate better or more efficiently. Their relationship to other businesses is not contributory, but parasitic.

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