March 28, 2004

Had Enough?

Just finished James Carville's latest, "Had Enough?", which is a brief summary of how bad Bush has been. What makes this a little different is that Carville lays out some pretty solid Democratic arguments and alternatives instead of just complaining about Bush. The part that got me thinking the most deals with national health care.

Everyone pretty much agrees that if a person can't afford health care, we aren't going to let him or her die if something goes wrong (especially if it is a child). We'll treat the person, and it usually will end up being in the emergency room, one of the most expensive hassles all the way around. It would obviously be a much better deal if we socialized the costs, used government-funded national health care to negotiate better prices, etc., just like corporate health plans do now. We could encourage preventive medicine, too, and keep people healthier while keeping overall health care costs down. It's a win-win.

For businesses, it is also a huge winner. After all, most foreign businesses that we compete with do not have to factor in the cost of employee health care in the price of their product. Those costs are borne by their respective governments, and it gives them an edge over our companies that have to pay to provide health care for their employees. Even a chintzy health care plan like Wal-Mart costs the company money and raises prices, and if you are talking about trade balances, it would obviously be to our benefit to make our exports cheaper.

This is a winner of an issue for Democrats, and there's no reason business-friendly Republicans shouldn't get behind it. I hope Kerry jumps on this issue and makes it his own.

Posted by Observer at March 28, 2004 11:08 AM

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