So far, we have allowed the market to develop and oversee the healthcare system in the US. According to the NY Times this morning, small businesses are buckling under the weight of health care costs. So, I'd like someone who prefers a market solution explain why it is logical to allow the markets to remain in charge of health care. I don't want to hear about small government or tea parties. I want a real economic argument for why choking small business is central to the American ideal. Though I generally consider myself to be a liberal, in this area my conservative stripes show. I am very concerned about the protection of small businesses, and it doesn't seem as if the un(under)regulated healthcare system is currently taking any interest in doing that. Small businesses employ 40% of the labor force, and the current market system hoses them in a number of ways: they can't negotiate with insurance companies like corporations can, and they don't have enough employees to reduce risk enough to reduce individual premiums. They current system "favors" large-scale corporate employers all the way through.
Our history of anti-trust legislation shows that corporate interests don't take a "care for the community/good neighbor" approach on their own internal moral compass. Some government intervention, through statute, has been almost constantly necessary. (I do understand that many would debate this, too.) Some government intervention in healthcare seems similarly necessary to keep Main Street solvent. Many are suggesting that the current jump in premiums is a cash grab prior to legislation that might deplete insurance company earnings. I guess I have to take the term "earnings" with a little bit of irony. Perhaps "take" might be better.
When the day is done, I feel as if the current healthcare debate is really a referendum on corporate versus individual interests in our country. I sure hope that corporate domination isn't America's only lasting legacy to the world. We have done cooler things than that, like invent jazz and public libraries.