Universal Healthcare as Pro-Business

Question: Can providing universal healthcare be seen as a pro-business move?

David Frum: Many businesses would absolutely be delighted, overjoyed, if the government would take their health care responsibilities off their books. Many others would suffer. It depends on the composition of your work force. It depends on how high the taxes are going to be.

But the problem of providing universal care is, I would say, problem number 2 when we talk about the health care crisis in the United States. Problem number 1 is slowing the rate of health care inflation.

Just between 2000 and 2006, a health insurance policy for a family of four doubled in cost; it went from $6,000 to more than $12,000. Well, if it had gone from $6,000 to $8,000, the whole problem of the uninsured would be a lot worse, when you've doubled the cost of things and the number of people who cannot afford to pay that costs rises very rapidly.

If we could slow the rate at which these costs are rising, we would also slow the rate at which people can't afford these costs is rising. I believe as well that the health care problem and the problem of opportunity is very connected in the United States with the problem of migration; that when you, as the United States has done since 1970, import 35 million or actually closer to 40 million people, almost all of them are very poor with very low levels of educations and productivity, and as employers we don't think it's worthwhile to provide health care insurance to them, it's not a surprise that the proportion of the people in your society without health insurance should rise so rapidly.

 

Recorded on: May 5 2008

 

 

 

David Frum: First, we have to slow healthcare inflation.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less