General Question

Smashley's avatar

Does universal health care benefit the people, as much as it does business?

Asked by Smashley (7352points) 1 month ago

Many people in the US receive health care from an employer, or purposely work less to qualify for free health care, or stay in jobs they aren’t suited to to stay insured; some people do not start businesses, or hire the fewest staff possible because of the cost of providing health care. These all contribute to economic inefficiency and generally hurt productivity.

Would government funded universal health care actually be a bigger boon to business than to the people?

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23 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

EVERYBODY wins but the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations. Which is why we are deprived of it.

JLeslie's avatar

Businesses benefitted from keeping employees as slaves, because people were afraid to leave their jobs and not have healthcare. They still are afraid to leave, the ACA is imperfect, people keep working in older age waiting for Medicare to kick in even though they have plenty of money to retire. Businesses would have an easier time not dealing with healthcare, they have to pay someone to be in charge of evaluating plans and administrating the plans, but insurance is also part of how businesses compete for employees. Seems like it would be better to just compete on actual salaries though.

chyna's avatar

ACA is actually not affordable, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Here in Canada we all have Health care.

It helps the population that cannot afford as well as pads the doctors, nurses and in general the health industry hum along.

Caveat though is that the costs are rising to extort more from the Government in doing so.

Standardizations of procedures is a solution now sought through Government agencies to off

set that consequence.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie In my personal experience in a family business with premiums for employee health care often going up 40% from year to year it was not a blessing to have to provide it! It was a major headache!

elbanditoroso's avatar

The devil is in the details.

If there were universal health care, how would it be paid for? If the government paid, would employers contribute? What about people who don’t work?

If businesses didn’t need to pay for health care, would they lower prices? Would they pay employees more? Or keep the money for themselves?

You can’t get a good answer to the OP’s question without some attention to the details of the plan.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb Ok, good point. I have no experience or knowledge about small to medium sized businesses that used to provide insurance. I don’t know the requirements under the law to offer insurance. My business we were very small and did not provide any insurance. My husband works for big corporations and ACA cost them more money, and I think they have to offer insurance to be competitive against other companies. Plus, if they don’t offer insurance they have to pay the government a fee/penalty if I remember correctly. I should ask my husband if he thinks companies would be happy to let go of offering insurance altogether.

rockfan's avatar

I always find it funny when people wonder how we’re going to pay for healthcare, when the U.S. pays for endless wars

chyna's avatar

^And trips to Mars.

janbb's avatar

And shiny new fighter jets.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The thing which is absolutely crucial to businesses in this country is the critical disadvantage around the myriad paperwork nightmares and crippling burden of providing healthcare to employees. It robs our businesses of any competitive foothold regarding their foreign competition and is the single factor allowing our costs to spiral out of control. The one thing of which you can be certain is that there is no controlling that rise as long as no one knows definitively how much this or that corporate cheat is fleecing this or that individual.

Smashley's avatar

@JLeslie – I don’t think it’s accurate that business prefer to keep providing insurance so that they can keep people stuck to their jobs. The points I laid out show how the burden of providing insurance is actually a huge burden on businesses of all sizes.

JLeslie's avatar

@Smashley I think it winds up keeping employees working though. Before ACA employees with pre-existing conditions really couldn’t move, especially at the lower levels, because companies would make you wait 3 months or 6 months to be able to get insurance.

I do agree that overall companies would rather not have the burden. Companies considered ditching offering healthcare and pay the penalties when ACA started, but they all pretty much continued to offer insurance.

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si3tech's avatar

Competitive private health care gives more choices and better service and
lower cost.

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dabbler's avatar

“Competitive private health care gives more choices and better service and
lower cost.” citation needed.

For one thing, that’s certainly not true in the U.S.
The system in the U.S. with the best patient outcomes (for given ailment) at the lowest cost is the VA, a completely socialist system.
Close runners up are the Mayo Clinic and the non-profit portion of Kaiser-Permanente HMO – both not-for-profit.
The most expensive area for health care in the U.S. – with nearly the worst patient outcomes – is a country in Texas where almost all the clinics and hospitals are owned by doctors. They throw patients back and forth for more te$t$

For another, who wants choices in the middle of a medical crisis? People need competent assistance through medical problems. Making “choices” means suddenly becoming an expert and ferreting through inconsistently available information from providers.
Sure for your plastic surgeon to tweak your nose or your boobs, shop around. Tell me, are you qualified to know one cardiologist from another? Are you going to count on Yelp reviews?

Health care is not like car parts or mobile phones, you might not live past a purchase mistake. “The markets” will not sort this out for you. HMOs will not sort this out for you, they only want to pay out as little as possible and continuously demonstrate indifference to patient outcomes.

Smashley's avatar

@si3tech – How can a for profit model possibly deliver the most efficiency, when paying out dividends will always be a major expenditure?

rockfan's avatar

Are we not allowed to respond to other answers in the General section?

janbb's avatar

@rockfan Yes, you definitely can. You just can’t derail the thread by going off-topic.

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