Just a Distraction
The employer mandate is a distraction in the health-care reform debate. Most Americans favor universal coverage regardless of employment. However, no one is sure how this will be funded. Meanwhile, those with insurance are defending their positions. The seniors do not want to lose Medicare benefits while those with employer coverage want to preserve it.
Sadly, both government and industry have poor track records in health care. Companies can no longer afford escalating health costs, particularly in a global economy. The auto industry has already buckled under such pressures. The federal government is destined for the same fate. Without additional tax revenue or reduced spending, Medicare will be insolvent within 10 years.
We need to return to fundamentals. The principle of universal coverage is that everyone contributes to this common good. This means a shared view of its value, and its affordability. We are a long way from that enlightened perspective. Health care has become a free-market circus, tying our political process in knots and confusing the American public. Because of this, we are mired in details like the employer mandate.
The founders of our country understood the value of aligned public interest. It started with the early settlers' notion of the "common", a public grazing ground shared by all. That same philosophy led to broader public interests like national defense and public education, which American taxpayers value and support.
The time has come for health care to be treated in the same way.
Posted by: joesabs51 | October 16, 2009 12:22 PM
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