Current Events

Business and the Left Unite?

There is an interesting article in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine (“What’s the one thing…“) regarding how some business leaders and Democratic politicians are uniting to fight for universal health care. The CEOs want to be relieved of financing a safety net for their employees (i.e.: health insurance and pensions) and the left is looking to create a more egalitarian health care system. The article focuses on Steve Burd, CEO and chairman of Safeway supermarkets, and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden.

There have been many comments on the web regarding the article. The Health Care Blog criticizes earlier NYT health care reporting, but then goes on to state: “Maybe there’s hope, as they’ve this weekend allowed Volvo-driving latte-quaffing liberal Jonathan Cohn—who actually knows something about the topic— to write a long article for the magazine.”

The Lean Blog comments that “Every minute spent talking about or worrying about the rising cost of employee benefits is a minute not spent on taking care of customers or innovating/kaizening core business activities. It certainly provides a distracting excuse for the automakers, then and now.”

The Crowhill Weblog is skeptical that universal health care will be a cure all. The authors writes: “So two things have to be done. We have to decide (1) what level of service everyone should get, and find a cost-effective way to provide that service, and (2) we have to have the stomach to tell people who can’t afford better service that they won’t get it no matter how much they complain and bellyache.”