"To compete and win in a globalized world, no one needs the burden of health insurance shifted from business to government more than American business," Thomas Friedman writes in his New York Times column today. Mark us down as unconvinced. How is government going to pay for this burden of health insurance? By taxing businesses and by taxing individuals who own businesses or shares of them or who are customers of them. Yes, America's health care costs made it more economically sensible for General Motors to build some cars in Canada, which has a government health care system. But in Canada, tax revenue in 2006 was 33.4% of GDP, versus 28.2% in the United States, according to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. That's five extra percentage points of GDP that belong to the government rather than being available to private businesses and individuals to invest or spend. If you carry Mr. Friedman's argument to its logical extension, business would benefit, too, if government would pick up the burden of paying employee salaries. That doesn't mean it is good public policy. None of this is to defend the American practice of providing health insurance through employers. But replacing the provision of health insurance through employers with the provision of health insurance through the government is not a policy shift that would necessarily be an unalloyed win for American competitiveness, either.