America's execs increasingly believe health insurance industry is worse than useless

Depends on how the numbers shake out. If I own a company with 2,000 employees, and I am paying $5,000 each for health care, that’s $10m right to my bottom line the day single payer takes effect. I’d have to see my personal taxes go up by more than $10 mill a year for that to be a bad deal.

If it’s a publicly owned company with 15,000 employees, which is contributing a “Cadillac tax” level of $12,000 per employee per year, that’s $180 million net income diffused among stockholders, many of which “own” the company through various retirement instruments on which no additional tax would be paid.


I hope you don’t include me in this group. I much prefer Hayek, von Mises, and Spooner.

I’ve done this, and my providers give me the same price as the “before insurance” column.

It’s price collusion on both sides, hospital execs aren’t doing badly for themselves either!

(And don’t tell me to negotiate… I don’t have the money to hire professional negotiators to combat the people that the hospital hires explicitly to keep me from negotiating prices easily.)

Hmm - I would call around. Every place I have gone too I said, “My insurance sucks. I want to pay out of pocket, lowest price.” and everyone has given me a price that was much lower than what insurance would be charged.

But maybe your area has different laws or they are all in cahoots, I dunno. Yes, administration costs in health care (and education) have contributed to rises in costs.

Good luck, it sucks.

My guess would be that except in the case of employee-owned companies, not a dollar of the saved costs in employer-provided healthcare will ever be passed on to the workforce. This goes for privately held companies, publicly held companies, non profits and government employers all.

Well of course not, savings are rarely passed on to the workforce and certainly never in full.

As you say employee-owned companies might be the exception.

The UK briefly experimented with a wonderful idea of allowing employers to buy out of having to provide full employment rights in return for providing employees with stock.

Theoretically not a bad idea, except of course the stock wasn’t the same as the actual owners got and came with all sorts of restrictions and no real voting rights

For a very positive view of the proposal see:

For a slightly more nuanced view setting out some of the problems:

In practice, hardly any employers offered shares under the scheme. Why should they when they can just go the zero-hours or ‘self-employed’ route without having to even pretend to offer any benefit?

I think the scheme is theoretically still around but the tax-free status of the shares is gone so it’s now completely pointless.

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