Employer-based health care is a relic

  • Article by: Ross Douthat , New York Times
  • Updated: July 10, 2013 - 6:39 PM

The delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate is a tacit acknowledgment of what really needs to be done.

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conniemercerJul. 10, 13 6:10 PM

Re: "the White House’s decision is a step toward honesty in policymaking".

There is nothing honest about this administration. Obama and his ilk are the most corrupt politicians we have seen in our life time. Chicago style politics has infested our nation. Obamacare was not and is not about providing insurance to the 15 million who could not afford it. Obamacare is the democrats hijacking our health care system to buy votes, enrich politicians and control people. If you think the lines at the Post Office are long and the employees are lazy just wait until the federal government becomes your insurance company. Have fun filing a claim!

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pumiceJul. 10, 13 6:23 PM

From the article: "[Delaying the employer mandate] takes us a little closer to a world where politicians of both parties actually level with the public and acknowledge that employer-provided health insurance is an idea whose time has passed." If only it would bring us closer to a world where politicians of both parties acknowledge that Medicare for All is an idea whose time has come, Ross Douthat!

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wplettfanJul. 10, 13 7:28 PM

Only in America would health care become so expensive that it actually threatens the health of the people because they can't afford it.

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orte0009Jul. 10, 13 7:37 PM

This whole thing was part of the "if you like your current plan, you can keep it" song and dance. Among the GOP's conspiracy theories was that companies were all going to eliminate their plans (as though dumping everyone out on the exchanges where they'd have their choice of plans would be a bad thing). So I think the article is correct that this was a cut-the-baby-in-half sort of approach that never really needed to be a thing. If we had actually had two parties working towards a improving health care instead of one spreading misinformation even after it has become law, maybe we could have avoided this whole ruse.

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liora51Jul. 10, 13 7:52 PM

If companies, especially the big companies, didn't have a lock on healthcare would they be able to attract and then hold employees? Just imagine that the healthcare benefits didn't keep people in jobs they hated or jobs that someone else would do better?

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docgeddyJul. 10, 13 8:15 PM

Thanks, Ross, for the steaming rationalizations, but really this sounds like yet another corporate scam to lowball American workers. What's next? Vacations, weekends, evenings? Oh, right, we already gave those up in pursuit of productivity. All that productivity has only produced inflated stock prices so the CEOs and boards get paid. Let's all look forward to the great leap wages will take once the corporations weasel out of providing any benefits at all.

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puerileJul. 10, 1310:04 PM

Good analysis of the problem, and one of the few articles Douthat has written that I agree with. But what's his solution? Republicans keep arguing that the ACA is a mess and unworkable. They refuse to propose any alternative. We have the most expensive health care in the world and the outcomes are no better. Any one who thinks this isn't a problem?

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gobigblueJul. 10, 1310:06 PM

Oh yes, I'll be waiting with baited breath for that one. Too bad the entire notion is based on a faulty premise, that in the absence of health care costs corporations will suddenly see fit to increase their workers wages. Yeah ok sure, get back to me when you return from fairy tale land and figure out the cost savings will go only to the shareholders, the costs to the employees, and the destructive impact of tens or hundreds of millions of people suddenly without affordable care being shunted into a predatory system that will only exploit them further, going to society as a whole. With luck, the next legislature here in Mn will institute single payer, a la Vermont so we at least won't need to worry about it.

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hermajestyJul. 10, 1310:11 PM

Several newly industrialized countries have set up health care systems in the past couple of decades. Not one has adopted the U.S. system. Most have gone for one of four models: 1) Minimum coverage for all paid for by the government, with add-ons available for a price (like Australia and Israel), 2) Single payer (like Canada), 3) National health service (like Britain, although the Conservative Party is trying to dump it with the help of (shudder) United Health), 4) Compulsory private insurance for individuals but with the insurance companies strictly regulated, including how much money executives can make (like Germany and Switzerland).

A lot of doctors in the U.S. justify their high earnings by saying that they have six-figure student loans to pay off. Other countries consider it important to have a lot of doctors and make medical school free to anyone who qualifies. Thus doctors can't overcharge on the grounds of either heavy loan burdens or scarcity.

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FrankLJul. 10, 1310:33 PM

For Canadians, most companies still provide supplemental health insurance because the government system is a mess.

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