brni (brni) wrote,

The pro-business argument for health care reform

One thing I don't understand is why so many pro-business conservatives are opposed to a public option for health care. Well, except for those employed by the insurance companies. I understand that.

But really, it's important to understand that employer provided health care is killing us, and the insurance companies have a stranglehold on our health, our lives, and our economy.

1) One key element of a "free market economy" is the labor market - the ability for people to sell their labor on the free market. Tying health care to employment - and in fact employment to a particular employer - adversely affects the freedom of the labor market to a significant degree. It introduces an element of indentured servitude to a number of employment situations.

2) Placing the burden of health care on the employer is bad for business. The cost of providing health care for employees reduces the number of people that can be employed, increases costs of products and services, and, in some cases, directly leads to bankruptcies and failures of businesses. In the case of products or services that can face global competition, the additional costs built into everything produced by companies that pay for the health of their employees (and their families) directly impacts the ability of the company to compete in the global market against those who do not have to cover these costs.

3) The profits realized by the insurance companies are not part of our economy. They are leached OUT of our economy. Yes, some of it gets rolled back in, but overall it becomes a huge money sink across all sectors of the economy.

4) The economic costs of people being uninsured and under-insured is another huge drain - in increased health costs due to putting off care and in lost productivity.

There is, of course, also the ethical argument for health care reform. You know, that everyone deserves the right to reasonable care. The "inalienable right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" argument. But the rights described in the founding documents of our nation are clearly unimportant in the current debate.
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