Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Friday, December 07, 2007

On National Health Insurance

If we go to a single payer plan the way the Europeans and Canadians (in fact, EVERY civilized country except for us) do, there will be more consequences than people are talking about now.

What I'm talking about is this: The employment picture in this country will be drastically altered.

How many people have you talked with who said they hated their jobs, they hated the company they worked for, and the only reason they were staying with it was the health insurance?

Take that away, and they won't have to stay misemployed any more. They can go do what their dreams call them to, and maybe they'll live longer. They certainly will have the opportunity to live happier.

But what about the employers? With such a mass exodus of disgruntled workers, what will they do?

First, they may find they don't need to lay off so many people (or "human resources" as the bean counters call them). Therefore, they don't have to ruin Christmas for so many the way the annual corporate layoffs do around here. They may even be able to build up good will among their customers. Maybe?

But then, they may find themselves shorthanded. They may have to think about what an employee needs to keep them at work. They may discover that their workers actually want to be treated as human beings. A novel concept for Corporate America. They may have to pay a living wage, offer human-scale work schedules, and give family time off and other non-monetary benefits. Managers may have to stop being martinets and start being good managers instead?

What do you think about these consequences?

Well, it's nice to dream. Corporate America and the insurance industry is going to fight tooth and nail to keep the current unsustainable system going, regardless of who is elected to Congress and the White House. That's why we the people (workers, customers, and interested public) need to keep the pressure on. I'll keep writing my senators (when I get some senators) and my Congressman (when I get a Congressman) demanding action to fix the current system. (I don't currently have any representation in Congress. I only have Bush lackeys.)

I encourage others to do the same.


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