For a newly minted startup, healthcare coverage for employees is quite a ways down the list of priorities. But the long-term success of our economy depends on both entrepreneurs and restraining the runaway train that is the cost of providing healthcare to those who live in the US so I think it’s fair game here.
There are several proposals floating around in Congress, mostly from the majority. Some have interesting ideas, some are downright scary.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve read some interesting perspectives on aspects of the issue and I thought I would share links here with some of my own thoughts.
Perhaps my biggest concern about this issue is the haste with which it is being pushed through. In the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger explains how there are many similarities to the initial passage of Medicaid back in 1965 and how that program has ballooned into something that accounts for 20% of state budgets.
Stephen Burd, CEO of Safeway Inc., has implemented coverage with features that seem to be getting some traction on the hill but it remains to be seen if those in charge will adopt any of his great ideas. Safeway reduces insurance premiums for those that avoid unhealthy activities, an incentive-based plan that any entrepreneur would love.
And Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a democrat, is proposing a plan that sensibly eliminates tax subsidies.
Fixing the healthcare mess, along with fixing Social Security, is one of the biggest issues Congress will face in any of our lifetimes. Let’s hope they don’t blow it.