Health Scandal

A new report from my colleagues at the Center for American Progress shows that 100,000 people are losing health insurance each week in this recession. Only in America does a president need to seek "emergency" funding as part of an economic stimulus to try to stem this calamity that comes with rising unemployment - all because America remains uniquely in the grip of the dead idea that health care should be tied to one's job. For those who say we can't afford to do health reform, the fact that an economic downturn leaves people at risk of medical bankruptcy (and worse) is proof that we can't afford NOT to do health reform. Hopefully Obama will make that clear in his State of the Union and budget presentations next week.


Blogger LAToxDoc said...

Bravo. The economic picture is becoming ever more stark and clear. Will America finally come to see that employer-sponsored health care is indeed a dead idea? Soon? Of course, every sensible economist and policy maker knows that we should move toward Single Payer, and eliminate the functionless profits of private health insurors. But even if America doesn't have the political guts to make the path to Single Payer very short, we can at least agree to take employers off the hook.

How is it that our policy leaders can be so blind to what the rest of the Western world has already figured out?

I would add one caveat about employers and health insurance -- workplace wellness programs are proven winners, even if funded by somebody other than the employer. So, while we must take the health insurance burden off employers, we should still require "creditable" insurance plans to cover workplace wellness initiatives.

Matt, thanks for your ongoing wise observations. / Paul Papanek, Los Angeles

February 19, 2009 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger RedSoxFan said...

Do you really think that public sector unions and politicians are going to give up their gold plated health plans, I just don't see it. The dichotomy between public pensions and private social security is bad enough, would tax payers stand for the same in health care ?

February 24, 2009 at 3:10 PM  

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