the resounding success he never wanted...,
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good question, mr. matthews...,
a number of major corporations have put together a program to help insure "uninsured part-time and temporary workers, contractors, consultants and early retirees". It's something straight out of the progressive era, so-called, to quote my informative if imperfect train reading:
Progressivism was initially a movement for the political rationalization of business and industrial conditions, a movement that operated on the assumption that the general welfare of the community could be best served by satisfying the concrete needs of business. But the regulation itself was invariably controlled by leaders of the regulated industry, and directed toward ends they deemed acceptable or desirable. In part this came about because the regulatory movements were usually initiated by the dominant businesses to be regulated, but it also resulted from the nearly universal belief among political leaders in the basic justice of private property relations as they essentially existed, a belief that set the ultimate limits on the leaders' possible actions.
Returning to the Times:
The 60 employers are supporting this program because they say they ultimately pay for the uninsured as hospitals pass on their costs for nonpaying patients. They expect the program to help reduce employee turnover and increase productivity among part-timers.
Which is to say there's significant pool of support for a single-payer healthcare system among a large segment of the business community in which healthcare is a major cost of doing business - that is, just about everybody except the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. It would cut around half the national expenditure on administrative and drug costs, which make up about 50 percent of our total healthcare budget, which would have significant impact on the 40% of that budget not already covered by tax dollars. Perhaps we'll revisit the discussion of whether or not insurance qualifies as commerce. The result, if left to their devices, would not likely be that humane a system, as they're in it to lower costs, and there's not really an organized countervailing force unless you count public opinion polls. The sheep, at least, like the idea. I just find it curious that there's not more arm twisting on congress to implement it. Maybe the epiphany of enlightened self-interest has only come about recently. In any case there are logical allies in the business community to fight against the private interests that presently control more and more our healthcare system.
:: posted by buermann @ 2005-01-31 13:50:42 CST |