Reid Senate Bill: Stealth Transition to Single Payer

The Political left has always favored a government, “single payer” health care system.  Every citizen’s medical services would be paid for by the government.  There would be no private health insurance.  Even those with the means to pay cash for services would not be allowed to do so.

With minor modifications, single payer is the system in Canada.  Canadians who can afford it come across the border to America for medical care they are unable to access at home.

Single Payer is not a popular idea in America because it would fundamentally change the relationship between a citizen and his government, and grant politicians and bureaucrats too much unaccountable power over individual lives.  Below is a one minute video, one of several videos on YouTube, of Barack Obama advocating single payer.  But recently the President has insisted he does not want single payer.  In order to sell the American people he now promises that “if you like the insurance you have you can keep it.”

However, the Reid Health Care bill, now pending in the Senate, includes:

  • A so-called public option, or a new health insurance company that would be owned and operated by government, and
  • A powerful financial incentive for employers to stop providing health insurance so employees will end up as customers of the public option.

The incentive is in the form of a fine, imposed on employers who do not provide health insurance to their employees.

How much is the fine?

$750 per employee

How much is the insurance employers currently provide?

$5,000 to $25,000 per employee

If the intent was to coerce all employers into providing insurance why wouldn’t the fine be more than the insurance?

Obviously, employers will have a powerful incentive to stop providing insurance and pay the nominal fine.  Employers could share the savings with employees in the form of higher salaries, providing an incentive to employees to go along with being “dumped” into the government run “public option.” Even if employers passed all the savings along to employees they would still benefit from off-loading the administrative expense and headache that comes with providing health insurance.

It’s not at all difficult to imagine the public option eventually becoming the only option for most Americans.  When that happens Obama and his allies will have accomplished their real mission: single payer.

2 Comments so far

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  2. uberVU - social comments on November 22nd, 2009

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