I’ve been waiting for someone with authority to come out and say this. Now Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has, and a New York Magazine reporter expands on the theme: universal healthcare in America is a problem for capitalists (represented by the GOP), because it both frees workers from staying at a job just for the health benefits and it knocks down a barrier to entrepreneurship. Capitalism always need an underclass to exploit but quality universal healthcare will make it harder to exploit workers. The worker that can easily leave a job for better conditions, opportunity or pay is a worker who has negotiating strength and may even have enough money to compete with his boss.
A Truthout op-ed article explains the real benefits of Obamacare. Once people understand how much benefit they provide, they love the new healthcare provisions. They’re also going to love the $500 rebate checks that will soon be sent out from insurance companies to compensate policyholders for the price gouging their insurers have been subjecting them to, and the $100 billion our government is going to save this decade because of the bill. Here’s an excerpt:
What the decision does do, using the taxing authority of the Constitution, is assure that everybody gets covered for health care – no one can be turned down. The President’s bill guarantees that everyone is now covered for pre-existing conditions, preventive care, mammograms, colonoscopies, seniors’ drugs, children on parent’s plans through 26, no lifetime caps, and this is a key part, requires that 80 percent of the benefits go to patients, not to administrators, prohibiting insurance companies from overcharging for their salaries and administrative costs. The insurance company overcharges – paying them as middlemen — were one of the factors that made us pay twice as much for health care as any nation on earth.
Added on 20 Feb 2010: I’ve reworded the title of this post to reflect that (in New Jersey) this issue is principally a concern of community college students. Rutgers, New Jersey’s state college, offers two very low-cost options for students: for under $200 they can use clinics on site at the school and for about $500 enroll in a traditional HMO is offered. But the insurance offered by Bergen Community College covers students only in case of hospitalization for a catastrophic incident – which yes, is as serious and rare as it sounds. I supposed other state community colleges have similar policies.