Monday, November 21, 2005

National Healthcare?

I just read in an article from the NY Times that GM is closing 12 plants and cutting between 25 and 30,000 jobs. Most of the reason for this is that the company cannot be profitable with $60 billion in healthcare costs. According to Jerry Dubrowski, "The company is at a particular disadvantage against foreign competitors, especially those based in other nations where health care is federally funded." (excerpt from the Detroit News)

With all the corporate tax breaks and so called economic incentives the Bush administration and Republican Congress have handed out over the years, no one has talked about the crushing burden of high healthcare costs on American businesses. All we get is a lot of talk about how we need to limit the recourse of victims of malpractice.

All we can do is wonder what would happen if Congress were to look at the problem seriously. I am left to wonder, what if the were to institute a tax exempt buy in similar to what is allowed under 401 K?

Anyone with a job could say allocate 5% for single coverage or more for those with spouses or children to a National Health Care Plan, similar to what every member of Congress gets for free. Companies big and small would probably need to match employee funds, but even with that their costs could be potentially cut in half. The remainder could be reallocated towards expansion, new jobs, modernization or any number of other benefits. More health care costs would be shifted to the employees but they would come off of their gross tax for income purposes. In addition, a new tax revenue stream would help to shore up Medicare.

I don't know if my example is viable or not, but I am sure all we will get from the current administration is more empty rhetoric, tax cuts for the wealthy and Iraq war propaganda. When, if ever, will they start to care about America?


Anonymous Pragmatist said...

Um, actually, the Clintons (Bill and Hillary) TRIED to look at this problem "seriously"; Big Business fired back by first launching Whitewater, and when that produced no results, they sent that bimbo Monica in to frame him.

Want to cure a LOT of what ills America? CONTROL THE MEDICAL PROFESSION - both those who "provide" it and those who "insure" it. They are OUT OF HAND.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Thor Likes Pizza said...

Big biz will pay $$$ for healthcare because the current employer-funded healthcare system bonds the worker to the job.

It's a power thing, you know....

The business elite care not if plants are closed and scores are laid off. They got theirs - what, me worry?

10:15 PM  
Blogger Stash said...


Hadn't thought of it that way, but wouldn't freeing up all that cash make a company more profitable? This in turn would raise the value of its stock. Companies also like to keep their investors happy.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Concerned Patriot, Mr J said...

National HeathCare is important and needs to be fixed.

Pragmatist your wrong Hillary treid to fix it by going to insurnace companies, who would be put out by a truly effective Health care plan. So they sabotaged her.

A truely effective Health Care plan does need to be look into though

11:07 AM  

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