Who You Gonna Call? Unionbusters!

Guess what institution is most opposed to both individual health insurance ownership and, I'd argue (despite their rhetoric), the single payer model?

Labor unions.

Unions extract a fee from owners, through workers, by restricting labor supply. If quantity of labor (Q) goes down and demand is unchanged, then price (P) increases. Basic economics. Union management carves out some portion of the delta, leaving itself much better off, workers somewhat better off and owners slightly worse off (absent productivity gains, which BTW, as I've said repeatedly on this blog, owners are stupid if gains aren't shared with labor).

Global competition, the relative decline of American industrial hegemony and the rise of the service economy have severely impaired the ability of union negotiators to use the power of artificial labor supply restrictions to inflate their members wages. What would happen to unions' value proposition if individuals owned health insurance directly (through ending the employer tax exclusion) or if citizens and legal residents enjoyed cradle-to-grave, head-to-toe Federalized health insurance? The union business model would collapse.

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