Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Musings

I've been wondering why small business is so opposed to Obamacare.  In a rationally ordered world that makes no sense.  Anyone who has ever purchased health insurance for a small group has seen the limited number of options and the high cost of even basic plans.  I worked for a small nonprofit and I wept when I saw the health insurance bill.

Small businesses get huge subsidies if they provide insurance for their employees, so they can provide better plans at lower cost.  Then the reasons for this occurred to me.  First, some small businesses will figure out that they can put themselves at an advantage by providing employer-paid insurance, and there will be a potential "race to the top," as more and more businesses are forced to provide insurance to remain competitive.  And second, employees can remove themselves from a particular business without losing insurance, which gives them a great deal more power in negotiating wages and working conditions.  They can walk out and head off to the Exchange to buy a policy.

And yes, it is interesting that everyone now calls it Obamacare, whether they support or oppose the legislation.  Perhaps this is just another example of the expropriation of a negative by the forces in support of the policy.  Maurice Agulhon's Marianne into Battle: Republican Imagery and Symbolism in France, 17989-1880 details the transformation of Marianne, once a reactionary symbol, into a Republican symbol over the course of the 19th century.

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