Originally Posted by Beckiboo
I think businesses should be required to offer health insurance, otherwise its like the gov't is paying that benefit for them!
First of all, why should businesses bear the brunt of the costs? The only reason businesses have carried it was because during or right after WWII, they could not raise wages. They added it as perk to get around it. One of our big issues here in the US is coverage for someone who becomes seriously ill. Because they can no longer work, they lose their job and their coverage in one swoop. Also, individuals are at the mercy of the business policy makers to determine what plan. This is also why we have so many people not covered. A lot of the smaller businesses just can't afford coverage.
The second part of the debate that I don't hear about is what is acceptable minimal coverage. In the 90s there were attempts to curb medical costs with HMOs, but people were upset because their one-in-10 million disease wasn't covered, sued and won. There are only so many dollars, no matter who pays for it. Do we cover 2 rare-organ transplants or 1,000,000 immunizations?
There was an episode on Scrubs the other night where the chief of medicine replaced a poor person with a rich person in an experimental drug program. The poor person died but the rich person was able to donate enough dollars to reopen a prenatal care program. These are the types of questions we need to address when we discuss who pays for what.
As to why the US spends so much for less care, we tend to not pay for the preventative care but the catastrophic care. Medicaid (the program for poor people) won't pay for education and preventative care for a diabetic, but will pay for an amputation. We don't always have a vested interest to reduce waste and mismanagement of funds - instead it is up to the insurance companies and they don't have our best interests at heart.
Health coverage is one of the stickiest moral issues we have. There is a resource constraint but there is a life depending on it. Who lives and who dies is at the heart of every decision we make on this issue.