Thursday, March 29, 2012

Healthcare

The Supreme Court deliberations over the past few days were interesting. Unfortunately, they discussions were largely not about the need for healthcare coverage, or the injustices in the system, or the economic drag that the current system offers.

Today I'm talking with the press about Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act). The likelihood is that part or all of the Act will be struck down. I don't agree with the reasons, but then again I'm not a legal expert. 

I'll say this though: it's time that businesses get out of the business of healthcare. There's no reason we should spend any of our business dollars or time on healthcare. None. 

And the best thing for our businesses and the economy is to cover everyone--everybody in, nobody out, no blaming, no means testing, etc. 

The Obama bill was ok--baby steps, really. It was great for insurers--expands their markets by 25%. The benefits to small business are small but not unwanted--tax credits. 

Instead of paying 30% overhead to insurance companies--admin costs, sales, marketing, operations, and massive executive salaries--we should have a one-payer system, with a mix of private and public healthcare providers. 

Pay for it with a simple payroll tax: 10% to the business, 3% to employees. Everyone has skin in the game, and it covers everyone. The paperwork goes away, the annual shopping for a better deal goes away, the massive increases in rates year after year goes away, the insanely high cost of the uninsured goes away.

It make sense. But sensible solutions and politics rarely mix.

UPDATE: I was asked to talk about my experiences with healthcare and advocate for the exchange, which is one of the better ideas. When I asserted that businesses really should get out of healthcare altogether and go to a single-payer system, the moderator interrupted, talking over me--muting.

Which is just about exactly what the Obama administration did when it excluded single-payer proponents from the discussion about solving the country's healthcare crisis. That muting of other voices was intellectually dishonest, weakened the process, and weakened the overall bill.

I hung up. 

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