Chart of the day

I used to lecture about “job lock” as  a regular part of my health care policy lecture.  I largely stopped, not because it’s not important, but because there’s so much wrong with our current system and I only use three days to cover it.  It’s not an unimportant issue, though.  Basically, a lot of Americans are essentially trapped in their jobs for fear of losing health insurance in our employer-based system.  This, of course, leads to a fairly inefficient distribution of workers and stifles opportunities for entrepreneurship.  Austin Carroll demonstrates this nicely in chart form:

That’s almost a 14% increase in business ownership attributed to turning 65 and going on Medicare. It would seem that there are substantial gains to be had in moving away from the employer-based health insurance system. Is there really any good argument for retaining it?

Other than the fact that there’s always a fair amount of trouble in disrupting a major status quo such as this, I sure cannot think of one.  Of course, if the only reason to keep a bad idea is that it’s a pain to get rid of it, we could still have slavery.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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