The Corner

Re: A Rare Convergence

So now there’s PonnuruGoldbergKlein convergence!

Klein’s argument is that if employees understood that the employer’s alleged share of their health-care costs are really part of their wages — and if they saw it on their paychecks — they would be more supportive of cost control. I agree with that. But I assume he means (based on his examples in this op-ed) that they would be more supportive of cost controls imposed by HMOs or Congress. I think they would be more inclined to favor turning over control of health insurance from their employers to themselves, and making the cost-quality trade-offs for themselves with their own money. Under the status quo, those trade-offs are made by other people and the fact that it’s the employees’ money is obscured.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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