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March 03, 2006

Weekend reading 12

From The Sacramento Bee, an article about employer-funded health care. I have sometimes wondered how this came to be common in the US; this article describes the historical roots of the practice.

Breaking free from employer-managed health care
By Daniel Weintraub -- Bee Columnist
Published 2:15 am PST Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Imagine for a moment that your employer was required by law to buy a plan to manage your nutrition needs - rather than simply paying you a wage, out of which you buy the food you want to eat.

Or suppose the government required your employer to pay for a housing plan, rather than paying you and letting you decide where and how to live.

Finally, consider what it would be like if the company you work for was mandated to design and finance a transportation plan for you, with a list of options for how you could get to work and back home each day.

Who was Ludwig von Mises? If you can answer that question, you may be interested in this online version of his book Socialism at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Update: Via e-mail, A.E. comments:

I clicked on the link to the Daniel Weintraub piece and thought it was too much 'what if'-ing and too oversimplified, so I went to find a history of health insurance that would cover it a little more thoroughly. I found this article and also read the Wikipedia article about health insurance which still did not satisfy me, but at the bottom of the Wikipedia article there was this one, which I thought very thoroughly covered the subject.

It was only after I went back to your original post that I saw the question about Ludwig von Mises and realized the coincidence of the page titled "Sayonara MSAs" (at mises.org) that I'd just read. Strange!

In my e-mail reply, I mentioned the alternative of finding doctors who work for cash and suggested googling for "cash doctor." If (like me) you and your family aren't covered by an employer's group health plan, sites like this one can be pretty useful.

Posted by joke du jour at March 3, 2006 06:03 PM

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