Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Hey, I wanna sign up too....

Alan of BuffaloPundit isn't terribly impressed with the apparent plans by the Administration and its allies in Congress to shift health-care costs from employers to directly on individuals. I'm not terribly impressed with this either (anybody care to take a guess as to whether or not The Wife and I make anywhere near enough to pay for Little Quinn's medical expenses out-of-pocket?), although I do think that something will eventually come to a head as more and more employers chafe under the ever-increasing costs of healthcare.

My question about this plan, though, is this: just how much of the monetary savings to employers who will no longer be paying for health insurance plans on their employees' behalf will be passed on to the employees, in the form of increases wages or salary? Somehow I doubt it will be much. Add in the fact that individuals aren't going to be able to get the cheaper bulk rates for insurance that companies get, and...well, gee whiz, hand me the pen so I can sign right up.

UPDATE: In Reuters today a story with this chilling opening graf appears:

Half of all U.S. bankruptcies are caused by soaring medical bills and most people sent into debt by illness are middle-class workers with health insurance, researchers said on Wednesday.

Somehow I suspect that in a "Take care of getting and paying for your own insurance all by yourself" system, the proportion of bankruptcies caused by illnesses would go nowhere but up.

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