Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Importance of Health Insurance Coverage

Many Americans have health insurance through their employers. But as the economy struggles and the working world changes, employment is no longer a health insurance guarantee. America continues to move from a manufacturing based economy to a service economy and working patterns are evolving. This, in turn has made employer based health insurance less stable.

Many small employers cannot afford to offer health benefits. And of the companies who do offer health benefits, many are charging the employee more of the cost. Because of these factors, many Americans are choosing to not take advantage of job based health insurance. But having coverage is still as important as ever. Everyone should have health insurance with basic benefits at a minimum.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Many Businesses Calling For Health Insurance Reform

A Reuters article by Donna Smith reports that businesses throughout America are in favor of some type of health insurance reform. Employers claim that they are at a disadvantage globally; they typically have to provide health insurance to their employees (while not legally required, it's a generally accepted inevitability for most large employers), as opposed to most industrialized nations that provide government-subsidized health care. Major economic competitors (United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, France, and Germany) were found to spend 63 cents for every $1 America spends on health care, while fast-developing economies like China, India, and Brazil spend only 15 cents per dollar.

The Business Roundtable, a consortium of the largest U.S. companies, worries that American companies will be less able to survive the recession as a result of these disparities in health care costs. They also point to evidence that employees in the United States are less healthy than those in other nations! Unhealthier employees could end up being less efficient.

Recommendations by the group are similar some proposed by the Barack Obama administration, including health insurance mandates and the use of technology to increase efficiency and decrease the cost of care. The Business Roundtable opposes dominant government-run health insurance plans, but supports some public aid for those unable to afford insurance.

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