Great opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune regarding health care costs.
First, Americans need to forget about the myth of a free lunch. Workers are not getting something from employers while paying nothing. They are paying for their health insurance, including the premiums supposedly contributed by their employers.OK, these guys have some horsepower going for them like advanced degrees and actual expertise. But remember I reached the same conclusions with little more than an engineering education and some pliers.
Second, to help the struggling middle class, we need to get health-care costs under control. There is no way to have a sustained rise in middle-class incomes without restraining the growth in health-care expenditures. Similarly, if we want government to invest in better primary education and more affordable colleges we need to find a way to hold down the cost of health care. We are robbing our children to pay for medicine.
We need to rewrite the social contract in America. We need to get employers out of providing health insurance. It is one of the most inefficient ways to get people covered, and it impedes efforts to keep costs down.
Instead, we need to provide all Americans with a standard benefits package regardless of their income, employment status, health status or age. This will provide Americans invaluable peace of mind, defuse labor-management conflict and get people to focus on value and determining whether more health care is worth the added costs. [More]