But every version of reform fails to deal with the root cause the uninsurance problem: millions of employers in our “employer-based” system do not provide their workers with health insurance. Why isn’t there more discussion about the free rider distortions in that state of affairs?
Instead putting the mandate on employer free riders, the bills now before Congress put it on people with minimal penalties for employers who refuse to provide coverage.
Then, on the subsidy side, the bills offer help only to the poorer of the poor (working, but not on Medicaid). They do nothing for two-earner households working at two, three or four crap jobs without insurance, who earn a modest household income of $60,000 to $100,000 a year. Subsidizing them, they’re told, would cost too much.
The greatest fear Democrats should have at this point is what will happen when millions of hard-working, lower-middle-class American families without health insurance are told they’re about to be slapped with a $500 to $1000-a-month bill to buy a plan most don’t use (most people don’t get sick). On top of that, they are going to be told that their employers and the government aren’t going to help out.
Is there any reason why these hard-working members of the lower middle class shouldn’t conclude that they are being taxed to help those even less fortunate than themselves? You don’t have to be a political genius to realize Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs will have a field day.
Public plan? Mandate? Goozner tests the sharp double-edges of these provisions.