Should Businesses be Required to Pay for Health Care Insurance – Yes

Men and women and children get sick. They grow things that will kill if not removed. Organs fail and work less efficiently. Some afflictions if not deadly will maim the person if not corrected by modern medicine. I would be dead of cancer or blind in one eye from retinal detachment or blind in both eyes from cataracts if medical insurance had not covered the cost of treatment. No doubt that all of us would be less well off if we did not have health insurance.

The practice of medicine is volatile in that knowledge accelerates daily. The medical professional is sometimes in the dark as to the state of the art. We practice what I will call maximum mercy medicine in that we are outraged if anyone is left behind. The costs are enormous and will be even more so as we learn. The practice of medicine ranks with education as maybe the major goal of humankind. There are no priorities to a sick person and his/her loved ones other than to get well.

Paying for the care can be the province of the state or the individual. The only resource the vast majority of the citizens of the world have is to pay for the services from the wages of employment. The state only exists as a financial entity through one form of taxes or another paid by business or from the wages businesses pay their employees.

Businesses can go the Wal-Mart way by abdicating the responsibility for all the costs of medicine and maintaining the environment which otherwise leads to human illness. As Wal-Mart does, business can pass and let the state care for its employees. Either way it’s a zero sum equation because the business will either care for its employees directly or pay additional taxes to meet the need.

There are employers who think they do a better job than the state in this area and there are those who feel overly burdened by the responsibility. No doubt there is little leverage within small business against the major insurers to date, but the situation promises to get better. Since size sometimes results in better costs, many group efforts may be worth investigating. I personally feel you are better to pro-actively work on behalf of your employees in the medical insurance area than rely on the state to service your company’s employees. Hollering at the state when your costs are out of whack will do no good individually, so you’ll wind up joining an employers’ advocate group lobbying the state anyway. Sounds to me like there’s more frustration and cost in that process than providing health insurance to your employees paid directly from the revenues of the company.