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Universal Medical care means more jobs?!?!?
Old 01-07-2012, 02:50 PM   #1
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Universal Medical care means more jobs?!?!?

I have been thinking about this for a while and thought I would toss it out to see what others think.

I hear over and over again from various people that they would like to retire or work fewer hours, but can't because they need the medical care their job provides. So, that got me thinking that some form of Universal Medical Care (Not necessarily ObamaCare as it is now) would help decrease the unemployment rate by opening up more positions for younger workers.

I am retiring this year. The main reason is that I have found that I can buy into health insurance at a group rate (my retirement benefits do not include any insurance). If for some reason, I could not get the health insurance, I would not retire. It is really that simple.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:45 PM   #2
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Separating health care insurance from employment and eliminating obstacles to access would have two big benefits. One, it would free businesses from a burden that makes them less competitive vs their competitors around the world, and two, it would invigorate the labor market, allowing both employer and employee to focus on the business aspect of jobs instead of the benefit aspect. It might allow some to retire and free jobs, as you point out.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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I see lots of people on this board, as well as my own American relatives, making their decisions about retirement based on employer related health insurance. For me (in Canada) this just isn't a factor.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
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Separating health care insurance from employment and eliminating obstacles to access would have two big benefits. One, it would free businesses from a burden that makes them less competitive vs their competitors around the world, and two, it would invigorate the labor market, allowing both employer and employee to focus on the business aspect of jobs instead of the benefit aspect. It might allow some to retire and free jobs, as you point out.
It would also allow employees to switch jobs more easily and, thus increase the efficiency of our labor markets. I think many of us know of people who cannot switch jobs because of medical conditions that may not be immediately covered under a new employers insurance.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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Separating health care insurance from employment and eliminating obstacles to access would have two big benefits. One, it would free businesses from a burden that makes them less competitive vs their competitors around the world, and two, it would invigorate the labor market, allowing both employer and employee to focus on the business aspect of jobs instead of the benefit aspect. It might allow some to retire and free jobs, as you point out.
I agree with the second point, but I think the idea that medical costs are a big burden on US businesses is less clear. Sure, it is logical that escalating medical costs would hurt US businesses, but maybe not. After all, any US business can stop covering their workers whenever they want (at least for now), yet big businesses don't. That's because they can buy the insurance for less $$ than workers can buy it on the open market (due to group rates and tax advantages provided by the government). In effect, this situation serves as a compensation subsidy and allows businesses to provide lower wages and still keep employees. The "friction" caused by the difficulty people have in buying individual policies also serves to lower wages. Anyway, I suppose it's possible that health costs hurt businesses, but if so I'd think more of them would take action.

If "Universal Medical Care" means higher taxes for businesses and higher taxes/less disposable income for their customers, we can expect it will hurt business to some degree.

I'd very much like to see health care de-linked from employment. The present situation (caused by previous legislation) is crazy.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:48 AM   #6
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My point on the cost to business was not the cost of the benefit but the need to dedicate people to administer a program. This can be onerous for a small business. If the link between business and health insurance were severed I would assume employees would receive in additional salary the cost of the benefit.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I hear over and over again from various people that they would like to retire or work fewer hours, but can't because they need the medical care their job provides. So, that got me thinking that some form of Universal Medical Care (Not necessarily ObamaCare as it is now) would help decrease the unemployment rate by opening up more positions for younger workers.



I believe that this is absolutely true in terms of intergenerational job transfer. I also believe that anything we can do to facilitate intergenerational job transfer is a good thing overall.

I work for a MegaCorp, and one of our biggest challenges, if not the biggest, is filling the coming dip in workers as we reach the peak of Boomer retirements. For companies to prosper, they must successfully address this demographic challenge. Failure to do so will limit the amount of work they can do for customers (currently happening in parts of my company). Additionally, younger workers are cheaper. One could also argue that younger workers are more cost effective too, since we all (and I'm including myself here) eventually reach a point of diminishing returns (cost/contribution). So, anything we can do to help the next generation along, decrease costs, improve efficiency, and harvest the last bit of contribution (via part time work) from older workers, seems a good thing for all.

And, regarding the OP, universal health care separated from employment would facilitate all of the above.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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The benefit of separating employment from health care is undeniable IMO, seems to be coming about slowly anyway. Govt policy to encourage same is welcome IMO.

But creating net jobs is not a slam dunk IMO. As long as US per capita health care costs are 40% higher than the next highest country and more than double the OECD average, something has to give. I would think while some jobs will be created by a move to universal health care, inevitably some will have to be eliminated or cost could get even more out of line compared to all other countries. Everything I've read suggests PPACA ("Obamacare") doesn't reduce costs at all, so we're not done yet I hope.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:41 PM   #9
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If I could buy insurance on the open market DW and I would be retired but Prexisting conditions prevent this. That is two jobs we are taking up. High BP,Cholesteral and the Sleep Apnea = three strikes. All are now under control thru treatment. Medcal insurance brokers state the sleep apnea is is the real issue that pushed me to no coverage available status. High risk is only available in Ohio if you go uninsured for 6 months after cobra. We are considering moving. In our case could pay much more than current Medicare rates and perfect health privatre rates would like to in order to ER. Would like to see a high deductable health plan where all or at least more PECs are accepted weather government or private. If medicare took this on then there may be an opportunity to collect higher premiums from fairly healthy younger people to off set current Medicare deficits . In my case last year my healthacare costs were fairly low a checkup with complete blood work and 3 perscriptions total around 2K if we did not have coverage.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:54 PM   #10
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But creating net jobs is not a slam dunk IMO. As long as US per capita health care costs are 40% higher than the next highest country and more than double the OECD average, something has to give.
Good point. My friends in Europe point out that they spend about 1/2 the GNP we do on medical care (7% versus 15%, if I am right) and yet have an average life span 3 years longer. Of course, when they go into the hospital for gall bladder surgery, they don't get a private room with an extra twin bed for a friend or relative to seep in (like an American friend of mine recently had). They get a double or maybe a triple room with other patients. And the first line of defense for routine illness is often the pharmacist not the doctor.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:19 PM   #11
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I think it's certainly possible that if people didn't need employment to get health insurance, it would enable more retirements. I've certainly known folks (mostly in their 50s or so) who would be financially ready to call it quits if they didn't have to worry about the 800 pound health insurance gorilla. I suspect it would probably accelerate my retirement, too.
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Post re: Universal Care
Old 01-08-2012, 10:12 PM   #12
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Post re: Universal Care

Not a fan of Obama care, but if the government is dumb enough to pay for my healthcare then I will take advantage. Same as when I was farming - made money for letting land sit idle - go figure.

But when I saw that they plan to subsidize healthcare for folks under a certain income, then that makes it more feasible to retire early. I can adjust my income to be at a given threshold so that my payment are subsidized. Otherwise I would have to wait and consider retirement at 65 when I could get medicare.

Both me and my wife have health conditions. When I was laid off we researched healthcare plans to find something cheaper than cobra. They all told me to keep the cobra, no one will want to insure you and if they do you will pay thru the nose.

So I plan to retire in 8 years when I am 60, just lurking here to get ideas on where I need to be....

And I seriously hope that obamacare is repealed, or modified. But that is another topic.
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