Friday, November 25, 2005
t r u t h o u t - Paul Krugman | Bad for the Country
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In looking at the current status of General Motors, Krugman identifies two major factors contributing to GM's problems: the trade deficit and the cost of health care. While not letting GM off the hook for obvious corporate failings, Krugman very much agrees with Robert Reich, who in his article 'Calling It Quits', recommended an end to corporations providing health care to workers and instead, using the resulting government tax windfall as a down payment on Universal Healthcare--government sponsored healthcare for all citizens.
Krugman writes, "According to A. T. Kearney, last year General Motors spent $1,500 per vehicle on health care. By contrast, Toyota spent only $201 per vehicle in North America, and $97 in Japan. If the United States had national health insurance, GM would be in much better shape than it is."
"Dealing with our trade deficit is a tricky issue I'll have to address another time. But GM's woes are yet another reminder of the urgent need to fix our health care system. It's long past time to move to a national system that would reduce cost, diminish the burden on employers who try to do the right thing and relieve working American families from the fear of lost coverage. Fixing health care would be good for General Motors, and good for the country."
SEE ALSO: The Unknown Candidate: Calling It Quits: A Solution to the Healthcare Crisis