Tuesday, July 08, 2014

"The lesson to learn from Hobby Lobby is that employers shouldn’t be in the business of providing health care to their employees."

Opinion: Hobby Lobby makes the case for single payer health care, by Joe Dunman (Insider Louisville)

... The U.S. government already provides health care to the elderly through Medicare. There is no legal hurdle to expanding that system to include everyone in the country. Extending it to all Americans would not violate the U.S. Constitution, since the federal government enjoys broad power to “provide for the general welfare” under the Taxing and Spending Clause. And the Hobby Lobby decision itself notes that the government can pick up the slack on contraception if corporations like Hobby Lobby refuse to do so.

The only hurdle to Medicare for All is politics. Though some form of a universal, single payer system has long been successful in every other advanced nation (such as Canada, Japan, England, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, etc.), both major American political parties are opposed. Universal single payer enjoys widespread support among the Democratic base, but President Obama made no serious push for it and embraced instead what can only be fairly characterized as a Band-Aid on the existing private insurance system, which consistently trails our international peers.

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