Monday, May 19, 2008

Some Economic Effects of Universal, not-for-profit healthcare

We must have universal, not-for-profit healthcare "Medicare for all" but what will happen to the economy when we go to it?

It will be good for the economy because:
  • Healthy people are more productive workers
  • Entrepreneurs are covered and more people could afford to leave their jobs and start their own businesses
  • Companies could afford to pay higher wages when healthcare costs are lower. (Remember unions to hold them to this.)
  • Women and others who care for sick children and the elderly will have more resources to care for them and lose less time
  • Some of the insurance professionals will be able to get work with the government
  • Drugs that actually work because the studies that lead to their approval are scientific will reduce the number of lawsuits over drugs that are ineffective or have life-threatening side-effects
  • Doctors will still be well paid.
  • Something must be done to lower malpractice rates besides ultrahigh malpractice insurance which punishes all doctors and justifies exhorbitant salaries. If they still received their "net" salary or perhaps a bit more under the new system, there would be no disincentive to doctors to be supportive of universal not-for-profit coverage.
It will hurt the economy because:
  • Drugs are a multi-billion dollar industry
  • Medical devices are a billion dollar industry
  • Insurance is a billion dollar industry
  • Preventative medicine is cost-effective and decreases the need for the above
  • NAFTA and other "free-trade" agreements have encouraged many of the most lucrative industries in the United States to go elsewhere for workers so we have few major industries left in the U.S.
  • The oil industry are is in trouble
  • The auto industry is in trouble

New modes of fuel, new conservation-oriented transportation and building techniques, services, and supplies are growth areas.

Your imagination is a growth area.

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