The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story on how a stalwart Republican base, business, is defecting. Why? In part, because of social issues, such as environment and health care.
“….In manufacturing sectors, such as the auto industry, some Republicans
want direct government health with soaring health-care costs, which
Republicans in Washington have been reluctant to provide…”
As costs continue to become unbearable, this gap will likely become more pronounced. Already, polls are showing that the majority of businesses believe in some kind of government role in health care reform.
A recent poll by the Small Business Majority found that 55% of business owners polled supported paying into a statewide pool — run by the state, mind you — to provide coverage for their workers. More (47%) favored reform efforts put forth by the governor and Legislative leaders than opposed (31-33%).
As we go forward on reform, though, this means meaningful changes that help everyone — not just one group or another. That means reducing the underlying cost of health care — by making the system more efficient, reducing medical errors, oversight of premium rate increases, etc. That helps everyone: small businesses pay less; consumers pay less.
What doesn’t help everyone is this idea that’s constantly brought up by Republicans to do away with “costly” mandates, like mammograms, the right to second opinions, childhood immunizations. They say this helps small business by allowing them to band together with similar businesses across state lines, and buy — say — a cheap policy from Mississippi, Texas or Alabama, which have fewer consumer protections. No offense to those states, but we never really want to follow their lead on anything else — why start with health care. And while not having to pay for actual health care might make insurance really cheap, that doesn’t help anyone.