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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/22/09

50 Year Olds are Unemployable Without a Public Option

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3. More workers will work extra years before retiring. Why quit early if you're making good money and you're contributing to the success of your company?

4. With more workers working extra years, some of the increasing pressure on Social Security will be relieved.

5. Unions will be able to negotiate for better pay and better safety. They won't have to fight for expensive health care benefits that certainly offer less benefit for younger workers -- except, of course, when they really, really, really need them.

6. American corporations can be come more competitive as the crushing health care burden that sunk General Motors are no longer eating as heavily into their profits.

7. Businesses will make fewer mistakes driven by youthful exuberance and inexperience. It's great that younger workers have the drive and energy to push goals forward, but it makes sense to have top management decisions made not just by youthful visionaries, but also by those who've seen the consequences of rash decisions made by too much testosterone and Red Bull. (The Internet boom comes to mind.)

8. Uninsured health costs paid by the government would go down.

9. Hospitals could stay in business because they would reduce unpaid care provided to those without health insurance.

10. The general health of the 55-65 demographic ought to improve a bit as needed medical care can be accessed as needed, rather than only when situation become desperate.

11. State funded workman's compensation costs would go down, thereby making American employers more competitive.

12. More money will be available for banks to loan, because American savings rates will go up, when IRAs are no longer bled dry by medical bills.

13. Bankruptcies and foreclosures will go down. 50% of all bankruptcies are medically related [2] and 25% of those facing foreclosure say their inability to pay is related to medical problems.

14. When we die, we'd get to quit having to answer all those embarrassing questions from St. Peter about why the richest country on Earth wasn't willing to provide basic health care to many of its citizens. ("And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me." Matthew 25:40.)

So our choices are stark:

1. We can continue as we are, with our top priority clearly demonstrated as the need to offer an earnings bonus to insurance and health companies at terrible personal, physical, and financial cost to a generation of older, injured, and sick workers. Or,

2. We can create a public option that covers all uninsured workers, thereby reducing health care costs by $150 billion over 10 years (according the Congressional Budget Office). We'll also increase American competitiveness, increase America's healthiness, dramatically reduce its medical costs, bolster Social Security, and we'll end the embarrassment of being the only first-world country that lets millions and millions of its citizens suffer without health care.

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