Monday, April 19, 2004

Cautious optimism

Daniel Gross@Slate predicts big-business support for universal health care. I support universal health care, so I hope Gross is correct, but one detail of his analysis raises an important point.

[O]ld-line industrial firms with unionized workforces and large numbers of retirees are seeing their balance sheets undermined by the health-care crisis.
In other words, aging populations may both drive universal health care (e.g. in the United States) yet threaten it (e.g. in Europe) at the same time. Like any major undertaking (the invasion, reconstruction and democratization of a developing country, for example), we must be under no illusions about the cost of universal healthcare, no matter how badly we want it, and we must make sure it is properly and sufficiently funded.