The High Cost of Health Insurance Is the Symptom, Not the Disease
Completely unaware of the obvious, Democrats have introduced a bill that would require companies that have at least 1,000 employees in New Jersey to provide “affordable” health insurance coverage or pay a special surcharge to the state. The goal is to make companies pay for people who wind up getting their health insurance through state subsidized health insurance programs like New Jersey FamilyCare.
This bill is nothing more than an attempt to levy a new tax on companies targeted by unions and their political benefactors, Democrats. No surprise the new bill is being sponsored by Stephen Sweeney (D - Gloucester), part-time state senator and full-time union official.
Of course this is all done under the guise of protecting the taxpayer. Who is responsible for setting up the false premise that either the state has to pay or an employer has to pay for health insurance?
According to a study by New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal think tank, 51 of the state's largest employers, led by Wal-Mart, have 100 or more employees or dependents enrolled in NJ FamilyCare, the state health insurance program for the working poor.Jon Shure doesn’t seem to understand it is not the government’s (taxpayer’s) responsibility or an employer’s responsibility to pay for all the goods and services an individual may want or need, and that includes health insurance. Somehow individual responsibility is always left out of the equation.
"FamilyCare was not created so companies could shirk their responsibilities and have their employees covered at taxpayer expense," said Jon Shure, the organization's president.
Raising the cost to employ lower skilled workers reduces the number of jobs available to this very labor pool. A few workers many benefit from so-called living wage and benefits schemes, but at a price borne by the many shut out from entry level jobs.
If the problem is affordable health insurance, then let’s work to solve that problem and not create a new one. Government has nearly destroyed the private medical insurance market in the United States. Instead of working to remove the regulations, mandates and restrictions standing in the way of a viable and affordable private health insurance market, politicians work to make matters worse and undermine the very people they claim they want to help.
However, there is some hope from a surprising source – Governor Jon Corzine.
Gov. Jon Corzine yesterday expressed reservations about the bill, which was debated at a special hearing of two state Senate committees. The governor said he is concerned about the impact the new mandates might have on the state's economy.Increasing the cost to do business and surely increasing the unemployment rate is not the prescription needed to cure the financial basket case that is the state of New Jersey. Be bold Governor Corzine; create legislation that makes for an affordable “consumer-oriented” health insurance marketplace to the benefit to everyone in New Jersey. Cure the disease, don’t treat the symptom.