If you can’t afford to provide health insurance, should you be in business?

February 18, 2008 at 11:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A paragraph in this NY Times article caught my eye today.  The article is discussing the Pennsylvania Governor’s attempt to cover at least part of the uninsured in his state.   Here’s the paragraph:

Small-business owners are protesting his call for a “fair share assessment” — a 3 percent payroll tax on employers who do not offer insurance, with the proceeds dedicated to covering the uninsured. And insurers are working to defeat proposals that would prohibit consideration of preexisting medical conditions in rate-setting and require that at least 85 percent of premiums be spent on health care costs as opposed to administrative overhead.

For political reasons no politician would ever say this, but I will: Why should we worry about whether or not a small business can aford health insurance for it’s employees?  If a small business can’t afford rent, it goes out of business.  If it can’t afford office supplies it goes out of business. 

Given the fact that almost any business can purchase some health insurance for 5% or less of it’s monthly payroll, I don’t see any reason that we should concern ourselves with whether or not they can afford it.  More small businesses in their respective state and national purchasing pools would also help drive down costs (albeit to a small degree).  In addition, if the owners of small business that don’t currently provide health insurance were involved in the process, there would be more people that would like to see costs lowered.

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