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Employers Push Costs for Health on Workers

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by Walden-Puddle, RN Walden-Puddle, RN (New Member) New Member

Walden-Puddle, RN has 9 years experience and works as a RN.

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I think that because many of work for health care companies we are not hit AS DIRECTLY as the general population with the increased costs (many of the large hospital systems are self-insuring to a degree), but certainly, most of the people we take care of are being hit...and hard.

The trend is seriously disturbing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/business/03insure.html?_r=1&hp

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oramar works as a returned nurse.

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I am glad you posted this. When I read it I just shook my head. We hear so much about the cost of health care causing so many headaches for management. It is supposed to be one of the factors suppressing job creation. Well it turns out it is the employees that are bearing the brunt of the rise. Employers are keeping their cost flat by passing along the cost to the employees. They have been doing it for a long time. As far as I can see the whole health care reform bill was based on protecting employers when it was the working people that needed protecting all along. No wonder the government can't get it right, their basic assumptions are incorrect.

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subee has 45 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and works as a CRNA, retired.

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If you think health care is expensive now, wait until its free.

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StNeotser has 10 years experience.

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If you think health care is expensive now, wait until its free.

Which can did you pull that response from?

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StNeotser has 10 years experience.

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I certainly think it's about time the era of employer based insurance came to a close.

If we're not going to have any national health care system in the USA, it's better if individuals were able to choose their own policies.

If individuals and not their HR depts were able to choose their own policies then we have a real free market playing field and not this mess of a system.

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DoGoodThenGo works as a Entrepreneur - Business Owner.

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I certainly think it's about time the era of employer based insurance came to a close.

If we're not going to have any national health care system in the USA, it's better if individuals were able to choose their own policies.

If individuals and not their HR depts were able to choose their own policies then we have a real free market playing field and not this mess of a system.

Do you have any idea how much employer provided health care plans really cost? Even with employers kicking more of this expense down to their workers, they still pick up half to a large percent of the actual price. Just ask anyone who has been terminated and had to pay full freight once the COBRA mandated portion paid by former employer expires.

No one ever forces employees to take on health insurance from their job, if you feel you can do better elsewhere have it at.

The reason Obama, that Pelosi woman, and other liberals backed off a "aational health" scheme and went with what the United States knows already, that is leaving the status quo of employer provided insurance system intact, but expanded and offering "carrots and sticks" to keep them in line was simply after the numbers were crunched there was no way the federal government could cover the costs. Well they could, but would have mandated huge increases in taxes or other ways to find revenue to pay, and that was a battle the Democrats by and large weren't willing to fight.

Once you go down the road to a national health plan, it opens all sorts of can of worms. Expanding perscription drug benefits under Medicare is already breaking the bank, and that isn't even *full* covererage.

Many voices warned that once Obamacare was passed employers would start looking at their costs and either pass a larger share of the costs onto current employees, drop coverage for retired workers, and so forth.

In the end those wishing for some sort of national health plan may get their wish eventually. If employer provided insurance becomes too expensive, and or dropped, workers will turn to the many federally sponsored but run by state plans. If enough this happens you are still back to square one, that is where will the states and federal goverment get the funds to run these schemes?

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azhiker96 has 10 years experience and works as a PACU.

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No wonder the government can't get it right, their basic assumptions are incorrect.

The government is not even close to getting it right. They need to work on the overhead cost of providing healthcare. Consider that the poor and elderly are hit hardest by the cost of healthcare. Then explain why it's okay for the US to subsidize other countries by paying inflated prices for medicines, supplies, and equipment.

One of our general surgeons lives in Vietnam and travels to the US several times to a year. In his clinic in Vietnam, a full physical with labs is $40. If you want to upgrade to include a cardiac workup with more labs, ekg and stress test the price goes to $70. If we could charge that in the US then insurance would be a non-issue.

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In the larger sense, regardless of how the employer defines the split of "employer" vs. "employee" shares of healthcare coverage costs, the entire cost of insurance is paid by the employee -- in the most basic sense, the cost of your insurance is income that you've earned but never see, because it gets taken "off the top" and handed to the insurance company. None of that money comes out of the profits or pockets of the employer, folks ... They just define the cost as being paid by them because, that way, the employer gets the tax deduction for the cost of the insurance premiums instead of the employees getting it.

I agree that one of the best things we could do is break the connection between employment and health insurance in this country. I strongly suspect that most of the people that indicated they're v. happy with their current health coverage in all those polls during the recent "reform" debate and negotiation process are only happy with their coverage because they have no earthly idea of what the coverage actually costs. How many people have you encountered (and how many people have posted here in healthcare "reform" debate threads) who actually believe that the $75 per pay period, or whatever shows up on their paycheck stub, is the full cost of their health insurance?? And most of us are at the mercy of our employers and have little or no choice in what coverage we have. (And, even if you choose to forgo the employer-provided coverage, v. few employers rebate you the full cost of the insurance policy -- just the fraction that they define as the "employee" contribution, which makes it a big financial loss to not just take the crummy insurance).

Offering health insurance as an employee benefit made a lot of sense back when it was first initiated during WWII, but that time is long gone.

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DoGoodThenGo works as a Entrepreneur - Business Owner.

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In the larger sense, regardless of how the employer defines the split of "employer" vs. "employee" shares of healthcare coverage costs, the entire cost of insurance is paid by the employee -- in the most basic sense, the cost of your insurance is income that you've earned but never see, because it gets taken "off the top" and handed to the insurance company. None of that money comes out of the profits or pockets of the employer, folks ... They just define the cost as being paid by them because, that way, the employer gets the tax deduction for the cost of the insurance premiums instead of the employees getting it.

I agree that one of the best things we could do is break the connection between employment and health insurance in this country. I strongly suspect that most of the people that indicated they're v. happy with their current health coverage in all those polls during the recent "reform" debate and negotiation process are only happy with their coverage because they have no earthly idea of what the coverage actually costs. How many people have you encountered (and how many people have posted here in healthcare "reform" debate threads) who actually believe that the $75 per pay period, or whatever shows up on their paycheck stub, is the full cost of their health insurance?? And most of us are at the mercy of our employers and have little or no choice in what coverage we have. (And, even if you choose to forgo the employer-provided coverage, v. few employers rebate you the full cost of the insurance policy -- just the fraction that they define as the "employee" contribution, which makes it a big financial loss to not just take the crummy insurance).

Offering health insurance as an employee benefit made a lot of sense back when it was first initiated during WWII, but that time is long gone.

IIRC part of your post has been covered by the new reform laws.

As of a certain date in the future (2014?) employers will be required to report the actual cost of healthplans to their workers. Also, IIRC, certain plans will be reported and taxed as income. Methinks this will apply only to the "Rolls Royce" types of plans, that is the really plush ones. Unions were given some exemptions in this area because they argued that they had won such plans for members in lieu of wage increases or other benefits. Still it does not mean a future president or Congress couldn't reverse.

While I do understand why and even agree that healthcare should not be linked to employment, still say it wouldn't always follow that costs would come down.

For one thing by virtue of being employed or in a union, most have health insurance whether they like it or not. Usually taken by default. If too many persons, especially young and healthy ones opt out of insurance, you will have a pool of the sick, very sick, elderly, those with children who are ill, or very ill or just simply because they have children, and so forth. The current reform laws require all persons to have something, but they are being challenged in the courts. Should the SCOTUS strike down that part of "ObamaCare", then much of what is left of the package becomes unworkable and or unaffordable.

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While I do understand why and even agree that healthcare should not be linked to employment, still say it wouldn't always follow that costs would come down.

I didn't say (or mean to suggest) that I believe that splitting off insurance from employment would necessarily do anything to reduce healthcare costs -- it would just create more of a reality-based market for health insurance. As it is now, most of the people in the US who are paying for health insurance have little or no say in what health insurance product they are purchasing. And insurance companies consider the companies to be the "customers" they want to attract and keep happy, not the individual employees who are covered under the policies and (are forced to) depend on the insurance company chosen by their employer when they need healthcare. That's a v. distorted "market."

If we really had any interest in this country in reducing healthcare costs, we would have gone with a system that eliminated private insurance companies entirely (a true single-payer system) instead of the status-quo-with-minor-tweaking-around-the-edges plan that just got signed into law. How can we possibly justify handing over billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies to the private-for-profit insurance companies for them to pocket as profit????

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DoGoodThenGo works as a Entrepreneur - Business Owner.

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I didn't say (or mean to suggest) that I believe that splitting off insurance from employment would necessarily do anything to reduce healthcare costs -- it would just create more of a reality-based market for health insurance. As it is now, most of the people in the US who are paying for health insurance have little or no say in what health insurance product they are purchasing. And insurance companies consider the companies to be the "customers" they want to attract and keep happy, not the individual employees who are covered under the policies and (are forced to) depend on the insurance company chosen by their employer when they need healthcare. That's a v. distorted "market."

If we really had any interest in this country in reducing healthcare costs, we would have gone with a system that eliminated private insurance companies entirely (a true single-payer system) instead of the status-quo-with-minor-tweaking-around-the-edges plan that just got signed into law. How can we possibly justify handing over billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies to the private-for-profit insurance companies for them to pocket as profit????

See your point and agree with you on the whole, but again the Democrats simply lost their bottle when it came to going for a "single payer" system, and were't ready to got the mat on the issue.

Once the media got ahold of "Death Panels" and other horrors put out that would come from the federal government running health care, that was all she wrote.

On some levels can agree in that while Medicare and to a lesser extent Medicaid are good programs for what they do, their costs are going off the cliff and are full of waste and fraud. Expanding either or running any government healthcare program with Congress in charge and no true system of cost controls/fraud prevention is simply more of the same when it comes to government programs. Handing out blank checks to various companies connected persons to rob the US coffers blind.

There are many things that can be done short of the government running the show that could bring down healthcare costs. For one do what every insurance company does, use the purchasing power of the federal government to bring down prices for all and sundry from medications to supplies/equipment.

When the perscription drug coverage was created a golden chance was lost to put in place a formulary where Medicare set prices it was willing to pay for medications. But you see where that idea went...

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2 Followers; 103,016 Visitors; 14,620 Posts

There are many things that can be done short of the government running the show that could bring down healthcare costs. For one do what every insurance company does, use the purchasing power of the federal government to bring down prices for all and sundry from medications to supplies/equipment.

When the perscription drug coverage was created a golden chance was lost to put in place a formulary where Medicare set prices it was willing to pay for medications. But you see where that idea went...

... Yes -- the Republicans designed and wrote Medicare Part D as a big giveaway to the private insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and then held a 15-minute vote open five hours while the leadership bullied, threatened, and twisted arms of its own caucus to get enough votes to eke out a win ...

The VA system (which has a great many positive features the rest of US healthcare could learn and benefit from) does bargain and negotiate with pharmaceutical and device companies to get lower prices, and, as a result, the VA, like the rest of the world, pays a lot less for pharmaceuticals than the rest of us. However, the Republicans in Congress have made sure to specifically forbid Medicare by law from doing this.

And don't even bring up the "death panels" :rolleyes: -- surely you're not suggesting that was anything other than meaningless right wing propaganda and scare tactics?? The real "death panels" in the US are the private insurance companies, which go to any effort necessary to figure out ways to deny their enrollees necessary healthcare in order to maximize their profits.

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