December 9, 2003
The "Ownership Society"
Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.\"\;
At first sight, this is promising. If the government is going to encourage certain behaviors by policy, it should do so directly.
For example, health insurance is currently tax-deductible - for companies. Were that deduction given to individuals instead, it would completely reshape the health care debate. For example health care portability and the problem of pre-existing conditions would be solved. Incomes would go up, as businesses stopped providing health benefits, and it is likely that not all of that increase would be absorbed by personal insurance costs at least for many workers. The debate over HMOs and such would be vastly different when people were voluntarily choosing who would provide them health care.
If done right, the idea of government giving options to people, rather than to companies (and rather than giving mandates to people) could be a great improvement. I am interested in seeing the proposal.
UPDATE (12/23): Forgot a space in the link tag, so no link. Fixed now.