OpEdNews Op Eds

The pro-business case for Minimum Health Care Laws

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (9 fans)
- Advertisement -

Most Americans strongly support laws that mandate a minimum wage. The rationale is simple: companies should have to pay their workers some bare minimum, so as to prevent slave labor. Now, that same simple rationale is growing in a different area: health care.

In cities and states across America, there is a quiet but growing understanding that this country should have minimum health care laws, just like we have minimum wage laws. In New York, the city council passed a bill that forces large employers to provide minimum health care to their employees (more on the bill here via Nathan Newman). This follows legislation that passed both houses of the Maryland legislature that did the same (though it was vetoed by the state's bought-off Governor). And in case you thought this was just a "blue" state/region phenomenon, think again: the GOP House Speaker in the ultra-red state of Idaho is considering crafting a similar law there.

The arguments against this are not surprising: Corporate America says it is "anti-business" because it forces companies to shell out more money for their employees. But as New York City Councilor Christine Quinn noted, the measures are "a pro-business response that protects both the responsible employers who currently provide health insurance as well as the taxpayers who are seeing an increasing pressure put upon the publicly financed health care system."

Think of it this way: without these mandates, companies that provide health care to their workers are at a competitive disadvantage with companies that don't. That creates a race to the bottom, allowing our economy to reward companies that shaft their workers. These mandates are pro-business because they erases that competitive disadvantage by forcing responsible business's competitors to also provide health care.

Additionally, the minimum health care bills are pro-business because they keep taxes down. The fact is, when companies like Wal-Mart don't provide workers health care, those workers go on public assistance - programs paid for by higher taxes. Thus forcing companies to provide minimum health care, prevents state and municipal governments from having to raise taxes on individuals and businesses in order to fund public assistance.

Mark my words, this fight is only starting. If disparate places like New York City, Maryland and Idaho are all independently addressing the problem, it means the issue cuts across party and geographic lines. And while it is certainly true we also need comprehensive health care reform that brings down health care prices, these efforts are a major step in the right direction. It's about time we start coming together around the economic issues that should unite us.


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

 

David Sirota is a full-time political journalist, best-selling author and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist living in Denver, Colorado. He blogs for Working Assets and the Denver Post's PoliticsWest website. He is a Senior Editor at In These Times magazine, which in 2006 received the Utne Independent Press Award for political coverage. His 2006 book, Hostile Takeover, was a New York Times bestseller, and is now out in paperback. He has been a guest on, among others, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and NPR. His writing, which draws on his (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Tax the Corporations and the Rich or Take Draconian Cuts -- the Decision Is Ours

Bush Used the IRS, FBI, CIA and Secret Service to Go After Opponents -- Where Was the Fox and GOP Outrage?

GOP: Recession's Foreclosure Victims "Want a Homeless Life"

How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Gives Corporations Special Legal Rights

Busting myths that FDR prolonged Great Depression

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Isnt it sad that common sense plays no part in bus... by ardee D. on Saturday, Aug 20, 2005 at 12:31:10 PM