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Commentary :: Labor
Big Business Hurts Itself and Workers by Opposing Socialized Medicine
19 Aug 2004
Ideological blindness makes U.S. corporate interests oppose socialized medicine, even though by having to pay health benefits themselves makes them wildly uncompetitive with similar companies in Europe or Canada.
A page-one story in today’s New York Times says that the high cost of health insurance—estimated at about $3000 per worker—is keeping companies from adding new workers even as their business picks up.

Now logically, you’d think that big business would be responding to this crisis the way it usually responds to a crisis—by demanding that the government pick up the tab. In fact, that’s exactly what governments in Canada and most of Europe and Japan have done. They have socialized health care, removing that cost entirely from employers.

Why doesn’t that happen here? Big business got the government to socialize the costs of hazardous waste clean-up. It got government to socialize the cost of transporting raw materials and finished products through the railroads and highway network. As big companies abandon their pension plans, leaving people to survive after retirement on their meager Social Security checks, it’s even socializing the pension program. So why the resistance to socializing health care?

In large part, I think it’s pure ideology. Socializing transportation made sense to the corporate elite because it’s basically a matter of government doing something that directly helps them and boosts profits. Socializing hazardous waste clean-up made sense because having to pay for their misdeeds themselves could bankrupt many companies. But socializing healthcare would be getting the government to do something that primarily would directly benefit the people, and only indirectly benefit companies.

For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .
See also:
http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

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Re: Big Business Hurts Itself and Workers by Opposing Socialized Medicine
19 Aug 2004
No....Big Business owns the Health Care Industry. Despite what they say Hospitals are out to make a profit, and socialized medicine removes that profit margin. Cox, Mercy, St. Johns; all Corporations, all trying to turn a profit without giving a rats ass what happens to the patient. Health care IS Big Business.
Re: Big Business Hurts Itself and Workers by Opposing Socialized Medicine
19 Aug 2004
I beg to differ. The answer to Socialism's ills is not to create more socialism. The remedy for high prices at the HMO is to eliminate the socialism that protects big pharmaceutical companies, NOT to subject Americans to more socialist policies. Economic reform should be subtractive, not additive. The above author really wants to use the medicine debacle as a grandstanding platform to change the cultural, and ethnic values of the West. This is unacceptable to real Americans.