Every since I attended the Health care Forum in early 2007, I puzzled over socialized heath care. At the time, my biggest worry was how would it change my current health care coverage. All candidates insisted that it would not change your health care if you chose to keep the plan you had.
The issues I had, and still have, after reading Sen. Obama’s vision for health care:
1) Employers will no longer required to provide health care to their employees, instead they can pay into the system which means, in my mind, that I would have to pay for my own coverage. (The article actually says that employers that do not provide health care coverage will pay into a national fund and that small businesses are exempt.) There isn’t anything that says what employers would be required to contribute, but I can imagine that it would be cheaper to pay a percentage of payroll instead of covering employees.
2) Under the new plan, small business would receive a 50% tax coupon for the amount spent on health care. Currently, businesses, small and large, can write off 100% of the premiums paid (less the employee contribution).
3) As a small business owner, perhaps socialized health care works better for me because of the lower premiums. An individual plan could cost me $500-800 per month since I am a 20 something female. Again, I do not know what the planned cost for insurance is, but Sen. Obama promises that it will be lower. However, going back to #2, I will only be able to write of 50%. Perhaps I would rather have the more expensive plan and write it all off
4) A small business is usually defined as a business with fewer than 25 employees. This definition may vary by state. Small businesses will be exempt from paying toward the health care fund. Currently, I work for a corporation with thousands of employees, so I do not worry about this yet. Three of my six jobs in my lifetime were for small businesses. If I was working for a small business there is no penalty for them not providing me with health care, would they provide it? Of course, these small businesses may have a harder time finding employees if they do not offer coverage. Also, see #3, would they even be able to continue to provide coverage if they’re only allowed to write off 50%?
5) If only 16% of the population is uninsured why do we need to socialize medicine? Why not just provide the special healthcare to the last 16% who aren’t insured? It seems that this plan would cost the goverment less.
I invite you to read Sen. Obama’s plan for healthcare and come back to discuss.
My opinion the reason healthcare became an issue this election was because Sen. Clinton was campaigning, and healthcare, specifically Medicare, was something she worked on while her husband was in office. Therefore, it was a natural platform on which she should run.