Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hsieh LTE in Rocky Mountain News

The October 2, 2008 Rocky Mountain News also printed my short LTE opposing the employer health care mandate:
Keep government out of benefits arena
Dr. Paul Hsieh, Sedalia

I'd like to thank the Rocky Mountain News for opposing Amendment 56, which would force most businesses to offer health insurance to their workers ("Let's make a deal/There's still time to pull some ballot measures," Sept. 3).

Businessmen create jobs through hard work and rational thought.

Consequently, they have the moral right to decide on what terms to offer these jobs to prospective employees, including specific wages and benefits.

Conversely, workers have the right to negotiate for any wages and benefits they desire, and the right to reject offers they don't like. But they have no right to demand a specific salary or benefit (such as health insurance) through government force.

To "solve" the problem of high insurance costs by foisting those costs onto businesses would be just as wrong as "solving" the problem of high gasoline prices by forcing businesses to pay their workers' gasoline expenses. The proper solution is not more government regulations but free-market reforms that address the actual underlying problems.
This piece is a shorter version of my longer OpEd on the same topic.

Fortunately, it looks like Amendment 56 will be removed from the 2008 ballot as part of a deal reached between Colorado labor unions and business groups.