One illusion about healthcare reform is that the only problem we have to tackle is the uninsured. The larger problem is that those of us with insurance have too much coverage, so that neither patients nor doctors have to pay attention to costs when making decisions. That is going to have to change.
Workers who are concerned about the availability of health insurance may suffer from “job lock.” They might wish to leave their job for self-employment, pursuit of formal education, an opportunity with a smaller firm, or early retirement, but the potential loss of health insurance is a deterrent.
I haven't had the chance to talk with Bob about this, or Carl Schramm -- point being that both know more about health care policy than my doctor and I combined -- but I am torn about the upcoming battle over healthcare reform. Whatever the bill pays for, I am likely to distrust its impact on market incentives, but how it pays may turn me into a full-throated Obamaite (Obamacon? What are they called?). The WaPo has a great article today about Dem infighting over the revenue plan for healthcare. Growthology mantra for the summer: Taxing employer-provided health insurance is not just a way to pay for reform, it is health care reform. Every entrepreneur knows this is the key to levelling the playing field. Let's hope it happens.