Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Healthcare Freedom

There are a lot of questions swirling around the healthcare debate right now, not the lease of which is how much it's going to cost, both in terms of pricetag and in reduction of quality through rationing. But there's one issue that's really been bothering me of late that has nothing to do with the end result, and everything to do with the arguments that are being made for the public "option" by those on the Left.

The gist of the argument in question is to expound on how terrible it is that people lack freedom of mobility in the workplace.

The details of this argument boil down to the situation where, for instance, I might have fantastic coverage at my current job, but want to go work somewhere else because it offers a better opportunity, or perhaps I am just unhappy where I am. But the other companies I might work for have lesser, or no, health coverage. I find myself therefore, jailed in the workplace, chained to a job I do not want because of the insurance coverage. The public option, the proponents tell me, would allow me not to have to worry about this.

This was a tenuous argument at best a few weeks ago. Now that we come to find that the public "option" disallows employer coverage from accepting new enrollees, the argument should be obliterated.

Even presupposing that the private insurance market could still remain in tact, which it could not, if I cannot go to work for a company that offers better health coverage than the public "option" and enroll in that better coverage, my freedom of mobility in the marketplace has been just as limited, if not moreso, than it supposedly already is.

Currently, I have the freedom to choose whether or not to take that new job and risk the fact that I take on a lesser insurance coverage. In fact, I have done this in the past, actually to work where I work now, because the work was more exciting than the work we were doing at my previous place of employ. I gathered this to be a reasonable risk to take due to the fact that I am young and healthy. But I currently also retain the option to leave this company, for the same salary, or perhaps a slightly lesser salary, should health coverage become a more weighted factor in my decision making. Perhaps I get older and decide I want better coverage with a lower deductible. I have the option to work for a larger company that provides a better plan than where I am now.

If the public "option" limits this freedom of choice, and my current employer offers a program that is just as good or even one penny better than that public "option" I am just as chained to this company as I ever might have been without a public "option," if not moreso.

To tell the American people that a public option somehow increases their freedom in the workplace is nothing less than a lie.

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