Group health insurance radical, destructive | News, Sports, Jobs

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DEAR EDITOR:

Will Ohio’s U. S. Senate candidates J.D. Vance or Tim Ryan propose banning America’s unique group health insurance?

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Those of us who’ve actually studied group health’s operations recognize it as one of the most radical and destructive ideas of the past 80 years. Our refusal to understand just how subversive and ruinous group health is when it was revived in 1943 to block national health care has made it a gateway to a permissive environment for outright medical lunacies and slippery slopes.

The case to abolish group health insurance will be the opening salvo in the epic battle to rectify distribution of American medicine. The opinion leader in that battle will surely be short-listed for a future Presidential Medal of Freedom, and given America’s extremely irregular patterns of health care consumption, even a Nobel Memorial Prize in economics.

Both Vance and Ryan have four months to grow into greatness. One candidate’s current health care position amounts to the usual puddle of wet mush. Plus, investment banker Vance knows American business has already worked around group health’s onerous costs. Specifically, tactical bankruptcies, outsourcing, off-shoring, cost-shifting and wage-cutting. Ever wonder why that $28-an-hour factory job is now $18 an hour?

Indeed, our politicians are longtime dupes for group health. Republicans snored as group health quietly undermined family as the primal model of economic distribution. A single worker’s uninsured mother and father, or uninsured brother and sister, for example, will never be enrolled in his group health policy under so-called family plans. Democrats yawned as group health, a job-killing excise tax on labor, gutted America of manufacturing jobs.

Evil ideas with up-front attractiveness, such as group health insurance, are legal and enjoy massive popular support. See, for example, the 20th century’s now defunct governing philosophies. It’s important to ask what the hidden costs of an attractive but evil idea are.

We can’t vote our way out of evil. We can’t reform our way out of evil. We can’t spend our way out of evil. We can’t focus-group our way out of evil. We can’t debate our way out of evil on Sunday morning television. We can only hope the successful candidate, Vance or Ryan, will lay the foundation for Congress to abolish group health insurance.

What of the 170 million Americans now herded in group health insurance? My guess is many will be quietly glad to be freed from the clutches of an odious undue enrichment scheme from which they benefited so much, and the purposes of which they understood so little.

JACK LABUSCH

Niles



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