A Quick Thought on Healthcare

Responsibility for pensions and healthcare need to be taken away from employers. There is no logical reason to place companies in charge of social welfare when we no longer stay with a job for our lifetimes. It is an unfair, cumbersome burden to employers, especially those of us trying to run a small business.

We should not forget that the only reason companies are saddled with this burden today was that in the wake of World War II, a small number of very large companies decided that it would be better for companies to control the social welfare of their employees than allow unions to do so. Whatever the logic behind that approach may have been, the result has been nightmare and expense for businesses of all sizes ever since.

The system must change, if for no other reason than to ease the burden on industry and help make us competitive again. Whether Obamacare is the answer, part of the answer, or a flat-out run in the wrong direction is unclear, and has been muddied by hyperbolic promises made by its supporters and Cassandra-like prognostications made by its detractors, none of whom are left with much credibility.

What is clear is that many of us are growing weary of the debate and would like to give the initiative a chance to succeed or fail on its own merits in execution. If it fails, kill it. If it succeeds without bankrupting the nation, keep it, and let companies get out of the social welfare business.

But even that is not enough. Fixing medical care is not a matter of a single silver bullet, regardless of the Obama administration’s lofty ambitions. It is going to be a long, incremental process rather than a Big Bang, and the sooner we can begin isolating or co-opting the special interests who are blocking the process, the sooner we can go about creating a healthcare system of which all Americans can be justly proud, and from which all of us can benefit.

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

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