At a time when companies have to lay off workers just to stay afloat, the government’s adding further burden to businesses.
Senator Ed Kennedy has drafted a health care reform bill that would require businesses to pay for employee health insurance.
And while everyone’s caught up debating the pro and perils of this and that health care reform proposal, it doesn’t seem like anybody’s noticing the reality of the situation.
Placing the onus of health care on businesses is at its core a tax. That fact changes the context of the conversation – or it would, if anyone cared to call a spade a spade.
At the very least, it’s an increase in the minimum wage – a congressional add-on that multiplies exponentially the cost of providing employment.
As it is, businesses can’t afford to keep workers. How much more so under Kennedy’s proposal?
All of which is to say nothing of the naked inanity of the idea.
Tying health insurance to employment is like tying auto insurance to home ownership … it makes absolutely no sense to connect the two.
And yet the government is determined to intertwine one with the other because – and it really is just this simple – the government can’t possibly do all it wants to do. There’s just not enough money to fund all of the government’s people-pleasing goals.
So the government, broke and spent, has turned to businesses to pick up its slack.
The problem is that businesses themselves aren’t exactly flush right now, a circumstance that has more than a little to do with business-stifling governance.
Adding yet another corporate requirement can only exacerbate unemployment and prolong the recession.
But Congress, as usual, is interested in neither effect nor consequence. And why should it be?
After all, it’s sticking businesses with the tab …