Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mind If We Watch?

Last month, I noted that the CEO of the company that I work for was becoming more and more publicly outspoken about the dangers in the looming health care reform bill. Today, he has another op-ed that appeared on our internal website and I imagine will soon be published in the St. Louis Business Journal. Here's an excerpt:

Simply, the changes being proposed will have the negative effect of discouraging U.S. employers from hiring as the economy recovers, and will force them to pass on increased costs to employees and/or drop their health insurance benefits to let employees shop elsewhere or move to a government-based plan.

We have an opportunity to create real healthcare reform and make a difference now with smart, targeted, incremental programs, such as: giving small businesses and individuals access to interstate insurance pools; implementing medical malpractice reforms; requiring medical price transparency; and supporting community-based health centers that serve the uninsured, to name several.

Healthcare reform is a complex issue and there is room for honest disagreement on the best way it can be achieved. However, the Senate bill and the House companion fail to solve problems and instead increase government debt, decrease U.S. competitiveness and create one more reason for investment from around the world, as well as jobs, to go elsewhere. This is not the legacy any of us want for our nation.

I must add that equally as troubling is that Congressional leaders now want to slam the door on open debate at this critical point in the process of considering legislation that completely changes the nature of U.S. national health care policy. We can only hope that the Senate and House will do what Americans expect of them, and thats play by the same rules of fairness and openness they set for others and that are established by law. Negotiations and discussions to resolve issues going forward should be conducted in a transparent manner in Conference Committee. I completely agree with Senator Claire McCaskills position stated so clearly last week on this: let the C-Span cameras in.

Saint Paul may have just found a new business hero.

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