[announce] Universal Health Care: What Possible Benefit?
Official Missouri Libertarian Party Announcements
announce at lpmo.org
Fri Feb 29 07:24:22 CST 2008
Universal Health Care: What Possible Benefit?
By Robert Stephens
As the general manager in a small organization that employs about 18
individuals, many of them female, I was greatly troubled by the recent news
coverage this weekend regarding Hillary Clinton’s proposal for universal
My organization provides a pretty comprehensive benefits program, including
medical insurance, dental insurance, basic life insurance, vacation and sick
leave, and a 401(k) plan. In addition, there are additional voluntary plans for
short-term disability, long-term disability, and additional life insurance if
the employee so chooses. The medical plan is fairly rich in what it covers and
the organization pays one-half of the medical insurance premium for each
I have watched while employees and single moms have agonized over being able to
pay even their 50% share of the premium and then opt out of the plan in order
to pay for other bills, such as food, utilities, house payment, and the like.
Clinton’s comment that the government would have to garnish the wages of
employees who didn’t opt in for either the employer-provided health plan or the
government plan puts both the employee and the employer in an unsustainable
First of all, it was bad enough when the federal government reached out and
essentially deputized all people who hired for their companies and
organizations by requiring them to “certify” that the employees they were
hiring were not illegal aliens. It is the job of the USCIS to keep the illegals
out—it should not be the job of the employers to keep them from working.
Now, Senator Clinton has proposed that the employers coerce their employees
into insurance plans that—perhaps for religious or personal reasons, but most
likely for financial reasons—they do not want to be in. And, if they still
don’t take the hint about joining, well, now the employers will be required to
forcibly take money from the employees paycheck and send it to the federal
government. Talk about a way to wreck the employer-employee relationship!!
Furthermore, the garnishment will, in many cases, tip the already stretched
employee right into a bankruptcy situation. While this may be a boon for
financial counselors and bankruptcy attorneys, it seems to be a strangely
draconian measure that will cause more harm than good—and from a candidate who
frames herself as being a protector of the “family”, “the little guy”, the
“American worker”, and the like.
The one positive that may develop from Clinton’s proposal is that she may have
inadvertently contributed to support of the Fair Tax Plan. Regardless, the idea
of the federal government mandating that individuals take part in an expensive
medical plan and then garnisheeing their wages if they choose not to should
cause every Libertarian to want to throw up. However, after the initial
visceral reaction, we need to argue, cajole, educate, or simply discuss the
issue with our fellow citizens and convince them of the horrible consequences
of the Clinton proposal.
If you’re still on the fence, just remember the bumper stickers from Bill
Clinton’s first administration: “If you like the IRS, you’ll love National
Link to the original Show Me Freedom Newsletter article:
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