Than I thought. The idea of a different health care system is not all that unpalatable to many CEO's.
Plenty of CEOs continue to support the status quo, of course, despite the drawbacks. "A lot of businesses take the approach that 'this is a lousy system, but we're good at it,' " says Joseph J. Minarik, research director for the Committee for Economic Development, a Washington think tank. "I interpret this as, 'I've got the best stateroom on the Titanic, and I'm not moving.' "
Democratic senators are calling for a new, federally funded insurer that would expand coverage by competing with private health insurers. Although insurance companies hate the idea, opposition from other businesses has been muted, even though this "public option" is characterized by Republican lawmakers as the first step toward a government-run system. "CEOs are focused on the bottom line," says Len Nichols, director of health policy at the New America Foundation, another think tank. "They know high health-care costs put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage."
James Hagedorn, CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG), describes himself as a conservative. Nevertheless, he sees much to like in the national health systems of Europe. "If someone said to me, 'you can pay the same amount [for health care] and we will redeploy to a national system,' I'm fine," he says. "Why would I argue with that?" [More]
This attitude could gain even more momentum as health insurance premiums zoom upwards. Have you gotten your bill this year?
Ours was up 18%.