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Is Employer Paid Health Insurance the Problem?

ACCE Webmaster on Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 4:35:00 pm

Health reform is a perennial discussion topic.  Everyone seems to agreethat the system is broken, but consensus mostly ends there.  Regarding health insurance alone there are multiple suggestions for how to fix the system.  Some groups want the government to be a single payer, a few states have tried mandating coverage, others advocate usingtax breaks to incent individual coverage.

In an editorial from yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, chairman of the department of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) argue that the status quo, employer paid health insurance system is the problem.

They contend that the employer paid model developed as a way around WWII wage controls and is no longer ideal in an economy where companies compete globally and people change jobs frequently.  They also assert that the employer based system is fraught with waste and maintain that:

"The money that employers are spending to buy health care for their employees could otherwise go to workers in the form of higher wages, empowering individuals to make their own health-care choices."

Regardless of your views about health reform, this is a thought provoking article that is well worth a read.  Click HERE to access the full article.

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