Minimum Wage and Medical Insurance

Question of the Day: If Virginia enacts a minimum wage increase, how many employers will respond by cutting fringe benefits like medical insurance?

Kennon Morris, president of the Virginia Forest Products Association, raises the concern in a Free Lance-Star op-ed today. Here’s his prediction of what would happen in rural Virginia: The minimum wage “would force many businesses to shut down, cut jobs, or hire part-time workers without benefits.”

Foes of the minimum-wage hike have focused mainly on the impact on jobs. But employers may choose other ways to control costs. One possibility is scrapping company-subsidized health plans — encouraging employees enroll in Medicaid or buy Obamacare. I would love to see an analysis of how many workers potentially would be affected and what the fiscal impact on state and federal government would be if thousands suddenly became medical wards of the state.

— JAB

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37 responses to “Minimum Wage and Medical Insurance

  1. I doubt that many folks who are earning less than minimum wage are getting decent health insurance and especially so if they are eligible for MedicAid or Obamacare.

    By the way, if you are at the income level that you qualify for MedicAid, you cannot buy Obamacare – that’s where the Medicaid Expansion comes in.

    People also forget. When your health care is not tied to your job, you have freedom to pursue other job opportunities. Job “lock” is a distortion to a true labor “market” where the labor should be able to go to the highest bidder but when that employer-provided insurance is involved – it’s not near so easy to take another job – that may have different insurance that does not fit your own circumstances especially if you have a pre-existing condition.

    All of Europe – and Asia, Australia, New Zealand – all those workers are free to pursue the best job opportunities that are available to them and in the US , workers are effectively held hostage by employer-provided insurance.

    • But stopping employers from providing health insurance as a fringe benefit takes away their ability to attract and keep good workers. There are a lot of people who take jobs in large part due to the fringe benefits, especially with nonprofits or government agencies. And a lot of federal government employees stay, in part, for the health care. (I have friend who is in his 80s and a retired fed. He has never had to purchase Medicare Part B because his retiree health benefits are a better plan for the cost.) Neither my wife nor I have Medicare Part B and don’t want it either.

      Why do liberals want to take away health insurance from the employment situation when a large number of people (both employers and employees/retirees) really like what they have? Quit trying to screw up my life!

      • No take away. Just give workers the freedom to choose how they want to get health insurance by giving them the same subsidy that employers are given.

        In other words, let everyone buy their health insurance with untaxed money like employer-provided is allowed.

        If given a choice, most people will choose freedom of where to work by getting their health insurance independent from the work. That way they are free to change jobs whenever it benefits them.

        Everyone should be in favor of that.

        what we have now is a lopsided subsidy to some workers and not to all workers – especially in a service economy.

        Not everyone can be a Government worker.

        • What are you talking about. Employers don’t get subsidies from the government for health insurance .

          • generally_speaking

            Employers are able to write off expenses related to provided healthcare plans as tax-deductible business expenses.

            This is effectively a “government subsidy.”

          • The money spent on health insurance is not taxed. Not Federal Income, not FICA and not State taxes.

            If that money were taxed first, it would eat up about 40% of the value effectively coming close to doubling the actual cost of the insurance.

            The govt books this tax loss as a tax expenditure – the most expensive tax expenditure it subsidizes.

            Imagine if ANY worker who had a job could also enjoy this benefit and buy insurance and got a rebate on his taxes for the price of the insurance as well as being guaranteed coverage and to pay no more in premiums than anyone else – and premiums are fixed and not based on age or health status.

            THEN you’d have a fair and equal system and workers could seek the best job for themselves without having to make compromises based on whether the employer offered insurance.

            Once everyone gets fair and equal treatment on health insurance, employers would have to compete for labor primarily on a wage basis. Health insurance would be effectively “portable” like 401ks.

        • What subsidy? It’s a tax deductible expense for the employer. Just like copy paper and wages.

          And since FDR wanted to create an exception to the WW2 wage freeze for American workers to keep up national morale, the cost of the employer’s contribution to health insurance was not taxable. Nor is the free coffee many workers get at the office. Everyone is treated alike. If your employer provides for health insurance and pays at least part of the premiums, you aren’t taxed. Let’s see what happens to candidates who run on a platform to take away tax free benefits!

          And fringe benefits are not equal. Some employers pay for college courses for their employees and some don’t. My daughter’s employer does; my son’s does not. Fairfax County has two pension systems for their employees. Arlington County does not. In a market economy, wages and benefits differ.

          Leave my health insurance alone. I reimburse my wife (a federal retiree) for half of her cost of the health insurance. Both of us are very happy with the benefits she earned for working about 40 years off and on for the federal government.

    • “…and in the US , workers are effectively held hostage by employer-provided insurance.”

      That is a rather provocative statement – it is also untrue.

      Unless of course your definition of being “held hostage” by employer-provided insurance includes taking employer-provided insurance, or the lack thereof, into account when CHOOSING whether or not to pursue a particular job.

      Everybody in this country is free to pursue their own idea of the best job for them. If they want to consider the availability of employer-provided health insurance when taking their decision, then they have a right to do so – at least until you get your way.

      • “…and in the US , workers are effectively held hostage by employer-provided insurance.”

        Far better it be that, than “…and in the US , workers are effectively held hostage by GOVERNMENT-provided insurance.”

        As noted above, employers have a far better incentive to treat employees right, than our federal and state bureaucracies whose track records are abysmal.

        • If employer-provided insurance had to work like market insurance – then workers WOULD have a choice between the two.

          Employers don’t offer the “incentive”. The govt does, health insurance is effectively subsidized by allow untaxed money to buy it and employer-provided insurance – by govt law – cannot discriminate based on age or health status. Those are govt incentives, not employer.

          • “…and employer-provided insurance – by govt law – cannot discriminate based on age or health status. ”

            People like you are the reason we have excessive anti-discrimination laws.

            Sometimes when you reap what you’ve sown it doesn’t taste as good as you thought it would, eh?

      • I’m not in favor of taking anything away from anyone but am in favor of treating everyone the same equal way when it comes to health insurance.

        Employer-provided health insurance is purchased with untaxed money. If it were taxed, the health insurance would cost 40% more…than it does which is what those who buy non-employer health insurance have to pay – with taxed money.

        Employer-provided insurance also, by law, has to charge the same premium per class of insurance and not according to the age or health status of the worker. Market insurance does not do that.

        Wayne – you need to get the facts if you want to have an informed view.

        • Larry, you need to improve your reading comprehension if you want to make informed comments.

          I didn’t say one word about taxes or how anything is paid for or what anybody pays for.

          I was responding to your “hostage” comment.

          You, once again, changed the subject and then criticized someone for not reading your mind.
          .

          • It’s two things Wayne.

            First, people who have a job with employer-provided health insurance cannot just leave for another job if the other job does not offer health insurance, even if it pays twice as much – that worker cannot find an equivalent replacement so they are effectively “job locked”.

            Employer-paid premiums for health insurance are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes. Additionally, the portion of premiums employees pay is typically excluded from taxable income. The exclusion of premiums lowers most workers’ tax bills and thus reduces their after-tax cost of coverage. This tax subsidy partly explains why most American families have health insurance coverage through employers. Other factors play a role though, notably the economies of group coverage.

            https://www.niskanencenter.org/whats-wrong-with-employer-sponsored-health-insurance/

            Second, employer-provided health insurance is not an employer benefit – it is a govt benefit because it is subsidized but beyond that the govt requires that the insurance is guaranteed issue regardless of your age or health status AND all people pay the same premium regardless of your age or health status.

            without those benefits – employer-provided would be a lot like regular market insurance where, first you pay for it with taxed money AND the insurer can and will base premiums on your age and health status.

            The government subsidizes employer-provided health insurance more than any other subsidy:

            so the point here is that employer-provided health insurance is a government benefit just like Medicare is. It’s subsidized insurance with govt rules that require everyone be covered and at the same price – just like Medicare.

        • Now, to address the subject to which you changed.

          I have absolutely no objection to everyone being able to pay their health insurance premiums with pre-tax money.

          But, if that was what you were trying to say, why did you not simply state it? Why cloak it in attacks on employer-provided insurance, accusations of employers holding people hostage and references to job opportunities in New Zealand?

        • Larry, your argument about equal treatment is completely inconsistent with the law and the Constitution. There is nothing that requires everyone to be treated the same. Rather, the government is required to treat people who are similarly situated in a similar manner.

          For example, Virginia does not have to allow everyone who lives in the state to vote. My grandniece who was born February 10, 2020 does not need to vote. Her father, who is an Air Force officer, living in Virginia but a citizen of Florida, can be excluded from voting in Virginia. Ditto for a citizen of Honduras or Sweden. But every citizen of Virginia who is 18 or older and not otherwise disqualified must be permitted to vote. I get to vote; our nephew doesn’t except in Florida.

          Everyone who has employer-provided health insurance must be treated similarly. The federal government cannot decide that people whose parents were born in Asia get taxed, while people whose parents were not born in Asia are not taxed. But the law doesn’t require every employer to offer the same medical insurance. Some employers offer more generous benefits just like some employers offer better 401K plans or bigger bonusses. Fairfax County is incentivizing its employees to move from traditional plans to preferred provider plans with co-pays by allowing employee premiums for the former to rise significantly. That’s OK. What it cannot do is allow those premiums to rise for only men or for only women.

          The idea that the government must eliminate employer-based health insurance because not every employer offers it or offers the same quality of plans has no basis in the law. It’s a stupid policy decision that will harm a lot of people. And if you want to tax people who have it, how about taxing everyone who gets a subsidy for Obamacare or who receives Medicaid? Sauce for the goose!

          • TMT – you are simply wrong TMT. When it comes to taxation, for instance, everyone is subject to the same tax rates for their income range.

            Everyone who is 65 is entitled to Medicare.

            When it comes to health insurance, everyone needs it and everyone should be treated the same without favoring one segment of society over another.

            I’m NOT advocating that employer-sponsored be taken away – I’m arguing that everyone who needs health insurance should be entitled to the same benefits regardless of who their employer is.

            You talk about the govt picking winners and losers. This is an example.

            And you argue against the ACA/Obamacare which is an attempt to level the playing field for health insurance. You oppose that for others while you argue that you deserve your special treatment.

            Here’s how you fix this.

            You give EVERYONE a CREDIT for the money they spend on health insurance no matter where you get it – from employer or the market.

            Also – you allow people who work for an employer who offers health insurance, you allow those folks to be able to choose from other non-employer health plans like Obamacare if those plans are better suited to their needs – instead of forcing people to essentially choose to take the employer plan – or not get the tax-credit.

            On something that is as important as health care:

            1. – everyone should be treated the same in terms of govt benefits.

            2. – this is one place where the govt picking winners and losers is just plain wrong.

            3. – the current policy actually distorts the economy that is trending towards a service economy. Fewer and fewer private employers are offering health insurance and the majority of it now is offered to Govt employees.

            4.- When health insurance is separated from employers – like we currently do for portable 401k plans – workers will have the freedom to choose what work they want to do – without regard to being essentially held hostage ONLY to employers who offer health insurance.

          • re: ” how about taxing everyone who gets a subsidy for Obamacare or who receives Medicaid? Sauce for the goose!”

            you clearly do not understand.

            People who get their insurance from their employer – get it taxfree.

            People who have to buy insurance from the market including Obamacare – have to pay for it with taxed money.

            do you not understand this?

            you get your employer-provided at a 40% discount because you pay for it before that money is taxed.

            People who have to buy insurance in the market – have to pay for it with money that already has had tax deducted from it.

            Do you REALLY want a level playing field or just further penalize those who have to buy their insurance?

            That’s a terrible “value” to hold. “I got mine, screw you”.

          • Larry, the federal government is not picking winners and losers. The marketplace is. People who have more desirable skills and experience get better compensation than those who don’t. This often includes higher levels of fringe benefits. People who work for entities that are not subject to competition (say Dominion, federal, state and local government, NGOs) often get better fringe benefits than those who don’t.

            Is there an element of luck in the equation? Sure. Some people find themselves in better positions than others for no special reason. When my corporate job was eliminated, I was offered a year’s salary, a deferred vested pension and company-provided health insurance when I took the pension. I decided not to take the pension until I was 65 to maximize the monthly payments.

            During the interim, the Company decided to cancel the health insurance part for anyone not yet on a pension. Had I decided to take the pension earlier (with a much smaller monthly payment) I would have received health insurance coverage. But I didn’t; so I don’t get it. Luck? Bad Karma?

            There is no law that says health care is a right. And I doubt Congress would pass one due to the enormous financial burden it would impose on the economy and federal government. So you are just arguing your personal views. But that’s all they are. It’s no different than when a person argues a fetus should be protected from conception. It’s many people’s view but it’s not the law.

            In a big, diverse nation like the United States, many people have differing views as to what should be a right. That’s fine but, unless something is the law, it isn’t right. And if some people get to claim they can make something a right because they want to, so can everyone else.

            Drop the argument that health care is a right. It isn’t. Congress will never make it one either.

  2. I am interested in whether at the new minimum wage some people would lose their medicaid? Medicaid covers much more than the ACA policies. At $15/hour that’s $31,800/ year. I believe that is above the medicaid cutoff for a single parent with a couple children. ACA rates are through the roof (since there’s noone minding the henhouse), and would be covered by the govt at that income level. The math doesn’t add up.

    • The minimum wage would not go to $15/hour immediately. The House and Senate have different versions, but, in both, the rate is phased in so that the $15 level is not reached for several years. I assume that the Medicaid rates and ACA eligibility levels will be increasing over this same period.

  3. here are the eligibility levels (I think):

    ACA is expensive but at the lower income levels, the subsidies pay for much of the premiums.

    It’s when someone makes more than 400% of poverty level that they have to pay it all and get no subsidy.

  4. Can anyone explain to me how to insert graphics in the reply?

  5. It’s very limited. You cannot insert _any_ graphic. It has to be found on the web AND there sometimes are issues of copy-right.

    I’ve tried publishing to the web – a graphic but had no luck getting it to render as a graphic in BR.

    If you find a way, share!

  6. re:

    ” Larry, the federal government is ot picking winners and losers. The marketplace is. People who have more desirable skills and experience get better compensation than those who don’t. This often includes higher levels of fringe benefits. People who work for entities that are not subject to competition (say Dominion, federal, state and local government, NGOs) often get better fringe benefits than those who don’t.”

    that “benefit” is NOT coming from the employer. It’s coming from the government. Should the govt decide who is more deserving of health care based on their education, skills, etc?

    “Is there an element of luck in the equation? Sure. Some people find themselves in better positions than others for no special reason. When my corporate job was eliminated, I was offered a year’s salary, a deferred vested pension and company-provided health insurance when I took the pension. I decided not to take the pension until I was 65 to maximize the monthly payments.”

    Both benefits are benefits the govt provides if the employer “participates”. Your pension is also a govt benefit if the money you
    put into it was not taxed.

    “During the interim, the Company decided to cancel the health insurance part for anyone not yet on a pension. Had I decided to take the pension earlier (with a much smaller monthly payment) I would have received health insurance coverage. But I didn’t; so I don’t get it.”

    If a company offers health insurance, they cannot cancel it for some employees and not others. That’s illegal.

    “There is no law that says health care is a right. And I doubt Congress would pass one due to the enormous financial burden it would impose on the economy and federal government. So you are just arguing your personal views. But that’s all they are. It’s no different than when a person argues a fetus should be protected from conception. It’s many people’s view but its not the law.”

    Is Medicare a RIGHT?

    “In a big, diverse nation like the United States, many people have differing views as to what should be a right. That’s fine but, unless something is the law, it isn’t right. And if some people get to claim they can make something a right because they want to, so can everyone else.”

    Nice try but no dice. On something that is as important as health care where people actually can die or go bankrupt without it – the excuse that it’s only for some people and not all – ain’t going to hold water.

    Ask the GOP who are losing elections over this issue.

    “Drop the argument that health care is a right. It isn’t. Congress will never make it one either.”

    It’s no “argument” TMT, it’s an election issue and the guys who keep saying it’s not a “right” are losing … you can say that’s it’s not a law – but if the majority of voters think that everyone should be treated equally by the govt on health care – those elected who keep saying “it’s not a right” are going to get kicked out of office.

  7. The biggest “job lock” in the world is pensions not health insurance.

    • for those that have employer pensions but for those that have 401k – they’re portable – and that;s the point.

      If we have truly portable pensions and health insurance – it would be
      a different ball game for a lot of workers –

      the employer health insurance is a “hook” that effectively traps people in that job.

  8. Wrong again. You continually want to force your choices on everyone else. Not everyone wants to job hop. And companies & other organizations want to keep good people.

    I’m better off today because my first employer had a pension plan that pays me monthly because I worked there for almost 21 years. It helped tie us together. There were a couple of occasions where I was offered a higher-paying job but figured that, in the long run, I was better off staying where I was. Was I trapped? I don’t think so.

    And I have had multiple 401K plans, including one from my first employer. They incentivized me to stay where I was.

    I’ve mentioned many times how my wife’s eligibility for federal employee health insurance benefits us. Ditto for her hybrid retirement plan.

    Frankly, I’m sick and tired hearing about not everybody has this. Well not everybody worked their asses off to go to college and law school like we did. And we both worked crappy jobs to pay tuition and later to pay off loans. Not everybody moved across the country and left families behind to take good jobs. Not everyone put in long hours, many of which were not compensated directly, to do the job.

    We have a Social Security system that clearly favors low-income people. We have Obamacare that anyone can buy, with taxpayer subsidies for lower-income people. We have expanded Medicaid. We’ve added special coverage for low-income kids.

    We add extra money from federal, state and local taxpayers to schools that have a lot of low-income students. They have more teachers and smaller classes. We provide taxpayer funds to help lower-income students go to college.

    I also notice that the wealthiest among us who advocate for more government spending keep their money or put it in advocacy foundations, rather than give it to the people they want to help. What if Bloomberg checked his massive ego and gave away 95% of his wealth?

  9. Your 401K is tax-deferred – a govt benefit.

    I’m not advocating taking anything away but rather than we treat all workers fairly when it comes to retirement and health care benefits from the govt.

    Many, many people work their butts off at work where the employer does not offer health or retirement benefits.

    Those folks desire that benefit as much as anyone who works and this is more and more true in a gig economy where many younger folks work in service occupations and may have multiple jobs. People who work hard for for a living – deserve fair and equal benefits – for work – from the govt

  10. Larry, our problem is that you believe government has a right to individual’s income and property. I believe that, in order to live in an organized society, the people give their consent to pay taxes to support government. These are radically different concepts.

    401Ks were established decades ago to provide individuals a financial incentive to save for their retirement by deferring the tax on employer’s contributions and earnings until retirement. It was designed to take the pressure off government old-age welfare programs and to grow the economy. It’s not a government benefit like welfare, Medicaid or Food Stamps. Neither is it a tradeoff that requires recipients to pay more taxes somewhere else to give everyone equivalent health insurance benefits.

    People without employer-based health care have access to Obamacare if they: 1) live in the United States; 2) are a U.S. citizen or national (or are lawfully present); 3) are not incarcerated; and 4) are not on Medicare. Who does that leave out? No one who is a legal resident of the United States.

    From that group, persons who meet income limits are eligible for free government (taxpayer) assistance to pay their premiums. Now that is a government benefit. And a tax-free one to boot, unlike Social Security.

    For people with even lower incomes (and otherwise qualified) can get Medicaid.

    Every person in your example can get coverage from the above, unless they aren’t here legally or are covered by Medicare.

    And if you want to make the employer’s contribution to health insurance taxable to the employee, run for office on that plank. I don’t think you will get far.

    • In terms of everyone’s income and property, isn’t it true than all of those who work for a living and pay taxes – are paying increased taxes to fund your health insurance and 401k subsidies?

      And I ask – if someone works and pays taxes, why should you get the subsidies and not them also?

      What I am in favor of is that if you don’t pay tax on your health insurance then others should have to also. Fair?

      Your position seems to be that you got your subsidy, but we cannot afford any more for others… ouch!

      I’m not after your benefits nor your subsidies. I just think anyone who works for a living is entitled to fair and equitable treatment for any benefits or subsidies that the govt provides.

      • I’ve written many times that I don’t have a problem allowing people to deduct what they pay for health insurance premiums to calculate adjusted gross income. If I were in Congress I’d vote for it and pay for it by abolishing the tax exempt status of any type of nonprofit that employs a lobbyist or otherwise tries to influence public policy and put a 25-year limit on private foundations. At that point, they’d escheat to the US Treasury.

        But I still think that if this were the law, you’d still find some objection.

        • I don’t know that I’d object out of hand but a lot of 401 c(3) are not political or activists – they’re truly charitable organizations – like the Salvation Army, and a variety that you see on the United Fund …

          but you may have noticed when they did the new tax law, the standard deduction doubled and far fewer people now can claim charitable donations on their taxes.

          Just 14% of people now itemize – most of them higher income.

          I have zero problems changing the campaign finance laws

          But I keep telling you that many Conservative organizations would change the way we do employer-sponsored health insurance because it does distort the economy and treats people who work and pay taxes – differently with winners and losers.

          We need a system where everyone should be able to deduct their health insurance costs – but cap it so that we can afford it in the budget.

          The really big benefit that people who have employer-provided get is beyond the money.

          It’s called guaranteed issue and it means that if an employer offers it, it has to be offered to everyone – including their retirees AND they cannot charge higher premiums for age or health status.

          That effectively means a healthy 25 yr old pays the same premium as a 60 year old with health problems – effectively have the young and healthy subsidize the older and sicker.

          That’s the government doing that. If insurance companies had their way – they’d charge much higher premiums for older and sicker and much lower premiums for younger and healthy.

          Right now, if a 50 year old loses his/her job, no employer wants them in part because they’ll add costs to the health insurance and cause premiums to go up on everyone. That’s why a lot of older folks who lose their jobs end up trying to qualify for social security disability -which then allows them to get Medicare at an earlier age.

          Everyone is trying to avoid the costs… because health care is so expensive.

          I’m really surprised that you turned down Medicare Part B. You must be totally depending on your employer insurance?

          • TooManyTaxes

            Larry, you didn’t read what I wrote. I’m not suggesting that nonprofits automatically lose their tax-exempt status. If the entity provides services as a true charity, leave them alone. But if they try to influence public policy and/or lobby with paid lobbyists, I think their revenue should be taxed like any other business.

            My proposal does not touch community organizations where volunteers may lobby for a stop light at a local intersection. They don’t pay for lobbyists.

            I think its ridiculous that the Ford Foundation, for example, has been around since 1947 on a tax free basis and spends most of its money trying to influence public policy. I’d put a 25-year sunset on these types of private foundations.

            I knew you’d object to a situation where a person without employer-provided health insurance could deduct the premium payments to be in the same position as a person with employer-provided health insurance. What you really want is a single payer system that provides the same identical coverage for everyone. And that’s what millions of people don’t want. I like what I have. Leave me alone.

            As far as Medicare Part B is concerned, ask any financial planner whether federal retirees and their eligible spouses should give up the federal employee health insurance. You will be told “no.” It’s a better deal than Part B and, unless the retiree is certain that his/her out-of-pocket costs would exceed the added Part B premiums, it’s financially stupid to add Part B to the federal health insurance plan.

            Adding Part B would greatly increase the monthly costs for the retirees. The only time it would make sense to add Part B would be in a closed network system in order to get a no copay situation. But then, none of any out-of-network services would be covered. What if you need to go to the emergency room while on trip and the hospital is not part of the network? You’re SOL.

            As far as the attractiveness of Obamacare plans to younger and healthier people, the Obama administration made the decision to add lots of expensive coverage requirements to the plan, thereby discouraging younger people from purchasing plans.

            Like the laws of physics, the laws of economics always apply.

  11. whoa… lots to answer!

    re: ” Larry, you didn’t read what I wrote. I’m not suggesting that nonprofits automatically lose their tax-exempt status. If the entity provides services as a true charity, leave them alone. But if they try to influence public policy and/or lobby with paid lobbyists, I think their revenue should be taxed like any other business.”

    you know of course, the famous IRS “scandal” where they did try to deny that status to political groups, right?

    “My proposal does not touch community organizations where volunteers may lobby for a stop light at a local intersection. They don’t pay for lobbyists.”

    You’d be suprised how many “community” organizations are part of a “network” of like-minded organizations who do go together to hire lobby folks like Goodwill and the Salvation Army and all sorts of “do-gooder” national, state and local organizations – all want that non-profit status – primarily so that people’s donations are tax-deductible!

    “I think its ridiculous that the Ford Foundation, for example, has been around since 1947 on a tax free basis and spends most of its money trying to influence public policy. I’d put a 25-year sunset on these types of private foundations.”

    You’re against “free speech”? geeze guy..

    “I knew you’d object to a situation where a person without employer-provided health insurance could deduct the premium payments to be in the same position as a person with employer-provided health insurance. What you really want is a single payer system that provides the same identical coverage for everyone. And that’s what millions of people don’t want. I like what I have. Leave me alone.”

    and you’d be wrong. I just think anyone who works should get equitable treatment from the govt on something as important as health care.
    If you read the Heritage Foundation Report on employer-sponsored health care – you will find that they and my position are exactly the same. Do you want that link?

    “As far as Medicare Part B is concerned, ask any financial planner whether federal retirees and their eligible spouses should give up the federal employee health insurance. You will be told “no.” It’s a better deal than Part B and, unless the retiree is certain that his/her out-of-pocket costs would exceed the added Part B premiums, it’s financially stupid to add Part B to the federal health insurance plan.”

    Lots of Federal Employees have their FEBH AND Medicare Part B. They use their FEHB as backup to what Medicare won’t pay for. You’re the rare person who does not.

    “Adding Part B would greatly increase the monthly costs for the retirees. The only time it would make sense to add Part B would be in a closed network system in order to get a no copay situation. But then, none of any out-of-network services would be covered. What if you need to go to the emergency room while on trip and the hospital is not part of the network? You’re SOL.”

    At $164 a month for many, Medicare Part B is a bargain. Where else could you get that kind of coverage for a geezer for that cheap?

    “As far as the attractiveness of Obamacare plans to younger and healthier people, the Obama administration made the decision to add lots of expensive coverage requirements to the plan, thereby discouraging younger people from purchasing plans.”

    Actually, I was speaking of employer-sponsored – where everyone pays the same premium no matter young or old. Younger folks are subsidizing the older folks.

    If the govt allowed the insurance company to charge you according to your health and age, your insurance would be through the roof. You’re being subsidized TWICE. Once by the govt subsidies and twice by the govt rules that require the insurance company to charge the same premium no matter the age.

    The “required coverage” you speak of for Obamacare – also applies to employer-sponsored and with Obamacare, the younger pay lower premiums than older who pay higher premiums unlike your plan where all pay the same premium which means the younger ARE subsidizing the older.

    “Like the laws of physics, the laws of economics always apply.”

    and I totally agree but when it comes to health insurance, and employer-sponsored, not too many really know and understand the facts and the facts are that employer-sponsored as well as Medicare have absolutely nothing to do with the laws of economics. Go read the Heritage Foundation Report and they’ll go over all the ways that employer-sponsored hurts the economy and workers.

    Worth a read.. they start off this way:

    ” Too many Americans do not fully understand how the health insurance they receive through their employer is financed. Health insurance is, of course, a “fringe” benefit. ”

    https://www.heritage.org/health-care-reform/report/employer-based-health-insurance-why-congress-should-cap-tax-benefits

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