Media Message: Healthcare Simply Rosy
As Marc mentioned this morning, large companies have been assessing the direct cost of the Democrats’ healthcare plan to them (i.e., their employees and customers) in the billions of dollars, and Congress has responded by “fuming.” Those who read the from the mainstream media and left of there wouldn’t have heard much about it, though.
I haven’t combed the Providence Journal but about the closest thing to an admission that the healthcare plan might have such negative effects that I’ve noticed in the Providence Journal has been a column by John Kostrzewa saying that “nobody has a clear answer” the the question of whether small businesses will see their own costs rise. My general assessment, to which Kostrzewa alludes, is that the plan will wind up saving small businesses money inasmuch as they’ll simply pay the government fee for unloading their employees into healthcare exchanges and any federal plans that pop up.
There could have been a healthcare reform in which that sort of switch would have been positive, but it would have been based on an increase of choices and decrease in mandates. Such an approach would lead employees to opt to fund their own healthcare and thereafter pressure their employers to give them some of the savings in increased pay. At the same time, consumer-controlled demand would have brought prices down.
As it is, healthcare costs will continue to rise, and small businesses will see canceling healthcare benefits as a necessary savings measure, so the push to split the savings with employees will not be as strong (at least for those employees who need the most help improving their hands in the power game)