David Leohardt has a very good column up on McDonald’s and healthcare reform. A taste:
In 2014, however, the choice for McDonald’s workers will no longer be between a bad policy and no policy. Through the exchanges, they will be able to buy a real health insurance plan — one that covers cancer, heart attacks, surgeries, M.R.I.’s and hospital stays. Dr. Carroll notes that many families will end up paying less than they are now paying out of pocket and will get more access to care, too.
For insurance companies, these changes won’t be quite so positive. They will no longer be able to sell plans that devote 30 percent of revenue to salaries for their workers. They will not be allowed to compete over which company can come up with the most ingenious ways to say no to the sick. Their benefits and prices will become more public, thanks to the exchanges.
The fact that it is beginning to disrupt the status quo — that some insurance policies will eventually be eliminated and some inefficient insurers will have to leave the market altogether — is all the proof we need.
I wrote along these same lines last week. Expect to hear plenty more horror stories about health insurers or private businesses dropping coverage or raising costs. One thing these stories also won’t point out is that people were losing coverage and insurers were raising costs before the healthcare reform law was even a twinkle in Obama’s eye. This has been the steady trend for years, for decades. This is why we worked to pass healthcare reform in the first place, warts and all.