Let's Get Away from Employer Provided Health Insurance.

... and do the following: Having said what we said in our previous post, let's acknowledge something odd. If you think we should get rid of our reliance on employer-provided health insurance, you have too paths:
Let's talk about the second approach--because the first is rather straightforward--and make the following points.

The most radical approach--a single payer option--would relieve business of the need to provide health insurance benefits. While the costs of such a program should give everyone pause, it would be a boon to a U.S. business.

A more conservative approach could also be used to move the country away from employer provided insurance (where it is going away anyway). Some ideas that have been proposed and on which there is fairly widespread agreement.

Wile E.


If Congress Fails to Pass a Health Plan ...

... you will lose your insurance anyway: At least the employer-provided kind. The extreme right--maybe just the right--is trying to scare people by saying they will lose their health insurance if "Obamacare" (whatever that is) passes. What they are not telling you is that you will lose your health insurance--at least the employer provided kind--if Congress fails to act.

It's already happening. Employer provided health insurance is just too expensive. Small businesses haven't been able to afford it for a long time. They pay high rates--double, we discovered when we were in business--what you can buy as an individual. And the rates have been going up dramatically every year. If you think large corporations are going to be able to continue providing coverage, think again. Chrysler and General Motors went into bankruptcy, largely because of huge legacy costs generated by their commitments to worker/retiree pensions and health care.

Even when companies continue to offer health insurance, workers and would-be workers are at risk, especially older workers too young for medicare. If you're 50 to 65, watch out. You'll be first in line to be laid off and last in line to be hired--precisely because you are too expensive to be covered.

While this is painful, it may not be entirely bad in the long run. Our reliance on "benefits" has had some unfortunate consequences.

However, insurers are the fuse of a ticking time bomb. Insurers raise prices to groups--and exclude individuals from coverage of pre-existing conditions. This practice forces more and more and people to seek more expensive group insurance through employers. Eventually, companies and individuals begin to experience pain from increasing insurance costs.

Employer provided health insurance has other consequences.

In another post, we'll talk about what we might do instead. Wile E.

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