According to an article in the Business section of the Burlington Free Press today, members of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility called on the legislature to shift the cost of health care to the government and away from them (the business).
The article opens with the
sob story moving account of one factory in Northfield that had to ask employees to pay 7% of their health insurance premiums, due to rising costs.
The company’s cost is now $320,000 a year for 39 employees and 52 family members. Wall said that’s greater than rent, electricity and fuel at the factory.
Wow! That’s a big expense. Bigger than rent, electricity and fuel combined?
But what is $320,000 divided by 39 employees?
$8205 per year, per employee.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say there is another expense at this factory that is greater than rent, electricity, fuel, and health insurance combined.
How about a little honesty here, folks?
The reality is that health insurance is a part of the compensation package that employers offer their employees. Compensation is the largest expense for businesses.
And if the above employer was paying that extra $8205 in wages, that money would be subject to the payroll taxes, costing the company even more money.
I am not opposed to the de-coupling of health insurance from employment.
As someone who has been self-employed, I would like to see the health care solution include making health insurance plans more affordable to people who are not traditionally employed.
What I am opposed to are the emotionally-charged red herrings that are frequently thrown out in order to confuse the issue.
Health care is expensive. Health insurance is expensive. Shifting the cost to a different payer will not fix the problem.
The irony of ironies being that it is likely the cost will be shifted away from the businesses, only to be shifted back to them in the form of taxes.
What is that going to do to solve the problem?
Why is health insurance expensive and how can we make it cost less?
Honestly, does anyone on the left have any interest in answering those questions?