Andrea Batista Schlesinger
Corporations Gone Wild
Spiraling gas prices, skyrocketing CEO salaries: we live in an age of Corporations Gone Wild! So why is it that when I first learned about the Fair Share Health Care legislation passing around the country I thought -- is this really the right strategy?
Of course it's wrong that big companies get away with choosing not to offer their workers health insurance, leaving those very same workers to turn to public hospitals and Medicaid for health care, and leaving regular working people like me to pay the bill while the companies' profits go through the roof.
In this changing economy, is it really wise to pursue employer-based solutions? I mean, as progressives, aren't we supposed to be advocating for a single payer system in which every individual has access to care no matter where they work?
Looks like I wasn't the only one with questions. Readers of the DMIblog debated the merits of Fair Share among themselves. For example:
I worry that employer-based health care is a dead end. While the WFP effort (and its MD model) is very good, it seems limited. Look at, for example, the General Motors health plans which, it seems, play a signficant part in the non-profitability of the Corp.
Especially since, as a practical matter, people change jobs a lot -- portable comprehensive insurance which has no "pre-existing condition" exceptions
may be more viable.
As I see it, single payer non-employer coverage has the best chance of providing, universal, affordable, comprehensive coverage.
Posted by: Daniel Millstone | April 28, 2006 02:28 PM
Here's my take though Daniel. If we want anything to happen we need to force corporations to feel the pain. The only force that would make the federal government actually do national universal health care is if the corporations tell them to.
The only way the corporations will tell them to do that is if the corporations suffer under the yoke of high health care costs for their employees. Right now the corps only pass the pain on to their workers and onto taxpayers.
If we make the corporations accountable for paying for their own workers the corporations will finally get off their fatted-asses and scream to the government for a universal plan.
Posted by: ann on | April 28, 2006 04:21 PM