The most astounding thing about the health care reform is the amount of frightened people out there. What’s even more amazing is the number of uninsured people who are afraid of government intervention. That’s like the poor worrying about the higher taxes rich people pay.
I’ve been on both sides of the system. As a relatively young man, not being insured doesn’t appear to be much of a problem. Medically, young males have very few things to worry about. On the other hand, as a husband, I can’t imagine putting my family through a financial disaster that is possible under the current arrangement. I’ve seen my mother survive cancer and enjoyed the benefits of company-paid healthcare. And then watched her become worried and desperate for coverage after she was laid off and became uninsured.
As a CEO, I’ve come to realize that lack of healthcare is a barrier for employees from leaving jobs and starting new businesses. That’s a problem for a small business / startup like ours. Its not unusual to run in to very talented employees working at large companies who feel that they cannot leave a job they dislike because our company’s health plan is not as good. I’ve met many people who would love to start a new business but can’t, because they would be unable to get coverage for pre-existing conditions until they reach a certain company size.
Effectively, unequal healthcare serves as a barrier to innovation. It’s entirely possible that our own employees may quit and start their own companies because guaranteed heathcare coverage may allow them to do so, but I have no desire to be the man that keeps an employee down. Increasing costs in healthcare also means that annually we face the choice of paying more in premiums or cutting benefits.
This will probably be the last time in a long time that we’ll be able to have an intelligent public debate about how we can safeguard our family from healthcare costs. So please, don’t be afraid of the complexity and start asking questions.