House Democrats on Friday answered President Obama's call for a sweeping overhaul of the health care system by putting forward a 852-page draft bill that would require all Americans to obtain health insurance, force employers to provide benefits or help pay for them, and create a new public insurance program to compete with private insurers.Passage of this legistlation will result in a double-edged sword against American jobs. Not only will the cost per employee rise, leaving less money to expand business and hire more workers, it will, at best, put downward pressure on salaries, and, at worst, provide an incentive for moving jobs abroad. And that's the 'good news'.
Arguably more damaging would be an establishment of a public insurance program. A government-run program will slowly kill private insurance companies, since a government insurer can offer significanly cheaper rates than private insurers (think Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac), even while operating at a loss (tax to make up the difference). Naturally, with cheaper rates, the government plan will grow as it takes business away from private insurers. On a longer time horizon, this will be bad news for doctors when the government-run monopoly, not the free market, will start enforcing more rules, regulations, and price controls.
In the end, we'll be left with a decrease in American jobs and/or salaries, higher taxes, and a hobbled medical environment where doctors will be forced to work more for less --and that's just from the highlights. We'll learn more as this legistlation evolves.
For those of you interested in probing further, here's a full length PDF of the Bill.