How we solve the issue of health coverage is critical for business, and what is critical for business is critical for all Americans. Although the world is awash in simplistic notions for solving this crisis, the truth is, none of us can offer a better answer until we recognize that fixing any one-part changes all the relationships and parts around it. This is why it is so important for small business to attend the upcoming Oregon Health Forum Breakfast. We need to step back and look at experience outside the current grid-locked discussions.
Our current approach is failing small business who must compete for quality workers with big companies. How we fund and deliver healthcare is destroying the labor mobility advantage that is central to our free market system. This loss complicates matters further by suppressing the wages and income an average person gets for their work. These consequences further weaken our communities’ and country’s social health and competitive advantage. Understanding the role employers can play as a strategic part of a coherent health coverage plan is critical to getting out of this hole --- We won’t solve our problem without employers at the table.
That means looking again at other countries, most of which continue to incorporate private health insurance markets alongside public funding. Not that we will copy what outsiders do --- as Americans, we prefer to find our own way and when we have the freedom to think, it usually works out. This is a discussion that business, especially small business, needs to attend. In the end, we want everyone, employers, and employees to get the income and benefit they deserve for the work they do. We are all in this together.