Personal responsibility was instilled in me by my parents before I was out of kindergarten. I didn’t wait for the teacher to put my hat and mittens on me; I knew it was cold outside and I did it for myself.
Fast forward to 2002 – our company’s healthcare costs had escalated to over $18,000 per employee. We made a decision to abandon the shortfalls of a small group policy in favor of letting employees buy their own individual coverage. We gave everyone the tools necessary, and they all purchased coverage for much less expense and exposure than was in the company plan. We became customers of healthcare before it was fashionable.
Fast forward again to 2014 – our government will mandate all employers to provide “affordable” health insurance or face a fine of up to $2000 per employee per year. It is a brilliant plan to make another generation of Americans dependent on the system to provide them with the basics of life that they should be personally responsible for. Providing health insurance is not an employer’s job much like it isn’t up to the employer to provide auto insurance or homeowner’s policies. Individuals need to make tough choices some days. While you might want a new car you need health insurance. The problem with our society is that satisfying our wants often times comes before satisfying our needs.
This new entitlement program will add $1 per hour to the costs of providing employment. Every value-added production step will incur an inflationary cost that has been artificially introduced into the cost of goods. A minimum of 1.67 cents per minute times the hundreds of millions of minutes that are worked in our industry sector is what this cost will be.
I am not unsympathetic about those who are unable to care for themselves. We used to have County General Hospital where any citizen could receive care no matter what their ability to pay for it was. But that segregation of service to just one facility was not politically correct, so now you can walk into any emergency room and receive any treatment. Taxpayers funded the old County General Hospital out of the goodness of their hearts; now the insurers, through the employers’ policies, are funding the nonpaying individuals through premium increases. So, while people care about their neighbors, government policy mandating coverage, extended eligibility and employer fines will add inflationary costs to an already overtaxed system.
So who really cares about whom?