Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Lay down your burdens!

Ezra Klein has a great article in today's L.A. Times about upcoming political pressure on the health care system. There are a number of good points here, including the basic point that I think that the American voting public is probably not going to get suckered by Harry and Louise this time around. That crap flew back when the first flush of Republican triumphalism and claims of being the party of ideas was surging through the body politic (ideas are fine; implementing them successfully seems to be the challenge for Republicans) . I think most people now are clear about the whole insurance industry/GOP shuck and jive con job on that.

What really gets me is the resistance of pro-business types. I understand ideological conservatives' resistance to state-run health care: they're OK with the casualties caused by the vagaries of the market, believing that there are fewer casualties in the long run through the magic of the marketplace. Although they may not like the characterization, the law of the jungle is fine with them. I think that this perspective is simpled minded and idiotic and clearly contradicted by the evidence. But at least they're clear on the ramifications in the short term.

But business types, what's the downside? Rid yourself of the Sisyphean task of paying your employees' health care costs. How many times in the last few years have people publicly griped about the cost to business of skyrocketing insurance premiums? I have a good professional job and my insurance coverage has gotten notably crappier from year to year in the last ten years. So lay down your burdens. The health insurance system now is desperately anti-entrepreneurial. With a wife in school and a 3-year-old, I can not start my own business no matter how badly I want to. Can government-run health care really do any worse than what we've got now?

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