We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Employees ultimately pay for the health insurance that they get through their employer, no matter who writes the check to the insurance company. The view that we can get employers to shoulder the cost of providing health insurance stems from the misconception that employers pay for benefits out of a reservoir of profits. Regardless of a firmís profits, valued benefits are paid primarily out of workers wages. While workers may not even be aware of the cost of their total health premium, employers make hiring and salary decisions based on the total cost of employment, including both wages and benefits such as health insurance, maternity leave, disability and retirement benefits. They provide health insurance not out of generosity of spirit, but as a way to attract workers Ė just like wages. When the cost of benefits rises, wages fall (or rise more slowly than they would have otherwise), leaving workers bearing the cost of their benefits in the form of lower wages.
This seems so blindingly obvious to me that I have to remind myself how easy it is for many people to ignore costs that are hidden behind the most flimsy of screens. For decades, workers who obtained health insurance from their employers have managed to close their eyes to the actual cost of the insurance and the related medical services. While medical science has produced new and more expensive treatments, the workers developed a mounting conviction that they have an inalienable right to the treatments regardless of cost, without any impact on the rest of their family budgets. And they've become so blind to the source of the payment that a solid majority actually is flirting with the idea that the government is a good potential source of medical goodies.
Workers have lost all sense that they pay for medical treatments themselves, out of their total lifetime budget, and that nothing can change that harsh truth. The only alternative is to imagine that other people will pay on their behalf. That may be a sustainable strategy for an individual willing to live as a permanent mooch, but as a policy for the American public as a whole it is lunacy. There is no fairy godmother standing outside of the "public" to pay for all this.
This is actually about Power. Power with a capital P. The additional tax revenue is a ruse.
It is futile to argue that employer provided health insurance EPH, is not income. It is income.
The usual plan is that the employee pays a portion of the premium with a payroll deduction. If an employee could decline any insurance and receive the premium then it would clearly be income.
O and Congress are going to tax EPH if they can and dare. That thar be the facts.
EPH is a barrier to a nationalized health insurance and a barrier to expanding government power. Cutting off EPH ends the political clout of health insurance companies because their premiums would vanish.
It also weakens any opposition from health professionals and associated institutions such as hospitals and laboratories; they would operate as the government demands or not at all.
the nj is right, private health insurance can be very costly.
On the other hand, individual health insurance for a fit 25 year old would be quite low if the insurer could look at age, sex, lifestyle, health history, and send them in for an examination before writing the policy.
But group health insurers cannot legally do those things or many other things. Lawmakers work under the general premise that such acts would be "unfair" and thus must be made illegal. So they made them illegal.
Hillary was at least bright enough to realize that the healthy and young would not pay premiums for national health insurance unless compelled. Her plan was that everyone would be required to join.
But the Devil is in the details. Not everyone can be required to pay. Children certainly lack the funds, the homeless and poorest do. And we don't know how many illegal migrants (choose your own term) are in the country. We don't know who they are or where they are or how to contact them.
So her proposal was to create a massive bureaucracy to fix all such details. Do you believe it would?
The problem is not that people are begrudged medical care. It is that many cannot afford it. And some believe the cost is unfairly high. Yet many do not believe the government's schemes will improve matters.
But many do, including most of Congress and government. All we can do is watch, shout "yea" or "nay", and see.