Health care reform that makes sense for small business

Jim Blasingame

Americans have a filet mignon health care system, but it's not perfect and could use some fixing. 
But why would we let the sausage factory we call Congress get more control of products and services that touch the most intimate aspects of the lives of every American? And why would we allow the same people who have managed Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the U.S. Postal Service into de facto bankruptcy to take over our health care system?

You would be correct to point out that current proposals aren't calling for immediate takeover of the U.S. health care system. But the controversial "public option" being debated is the socialized medicine camel's nose sliding under the free-market tent. If a bill passes with any vestige of a public option, it will just be a matter of time before this stinking dromedary wreaks havoc on American families and businesses.

There are many ways the marketplace and government can work together to accomplish common sense health care reform without a takeover of the industry, but here is just one:

Make health care coverage portable by replacing the employer tax deduction for employee health insurance with a tax credit given to every American to shop around and buy their own health insurance, the same way we shop for and buy everything else. With this plan, a federal law would also be needed to allow individuals to avoid state mandates and buy insurance across state lines.

Many benefits could be realized with this plan, including but not limited to:

  • create a more efficient health care insurance system
  • create real market-based competition
  • encourage innovation for both insurance and health care products and services
  • create marketplace jobs instead of government jobs
  • eliminate employees being held hostage to a job due to a "pre-existing medical condition"
  • Americans would become savvy health care consumers, instead of just co-paying patients
  • portability more closely aligns with 21st century employment relationships.

All of these elements would be good news for small businesses, not the least reason would be to help level the benefits playing field when competing for top employees.

Perhaps the greatest impediment to this health care reform idea is that it's simple and would actually work in real life - a concept seemingly foreign to members of the political class.        

Write this on a rock... Focus health care reform on market solutions, not government takeover.

Jim Blasingame, creator and host of The Small Business Advocate Show
Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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