Unions Fight for Higher Health Costs

Brian Schwartz has pointed out that Colorado’s union bosses are trying to further screw over Colorado workers — so long as the unions expand their power. Schwartz writes:

Re: “Who has your health at heart?” May 22 guest commentary.

AFL-CIO executives John Sweeney and Mike Cerbo perpetuate the big lie behind politician-controlled medicine: that the free market is not working and that costs have been spiraling out of control because of markets.

But costs have been increasing precisely because of the employer-based insurance they espouse, which is a consequence of a biased and non-free-market tax code. It favors employer-based insurance and penalizes other types of medical insurance.

We consume medical care like a business traveler dining on the company’s expense account: Since someone else pays the bill (insurers), patients need not shop around, so providers don’t compete on price. …

Employer-based insurance also coddles insurance companies, which have little incentive to please consumers. They know we’re essentially locked to our employer and the costly insurance plans they offer. To buy a competitor’s product, we must change jobs or pay a stiff tax penalty.

The AFL-CIO should be ashamed of promoting self-serving policies that both empower labor unions and result in expensive medical care and insurance.

Schwartz covers additional angles of the health-policy debate at Patient Power. And Paul Hsieh discusses problems with the British system and other issues at the FIRM blog.

Nevertheless, with a Democratic legislature (and a weak-spined Republican minority), we continue to suffer the further socialization of health care. For example, Governor Bill Ritter recently bragged about signing eleven health-related bills, most of which expand political control of medicine.

Colorado’s advocates of individual rights in medicine have stopped the worst plans and slowed down the political takeover of medicine. If you care about your health and your liberty, now is the time to join them.