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-   -   The health care debate (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=74637)

stullis 06-22-2009 09:09 AM

nor should it be the employer's job. ;) But who brought the health insurance benefit into the realm of the employer?


If we can't eliminate insurance then let's get rid of all employee "benefits".
People earn their wage and nothing else. Oh wait...think of all the jobs that would be lost pushing paper. :stirpot:

ob1kanobee 06-22-2009 10:04 AM

For information state by state on your health care options as well as eligability quiz. Lots of information on this site:

http://www.coverageforall.org/

bbcamp 06-22-2009 10:32 AM

Quote:

But who brought the health insurance benefit into the realm of the employer?
Depends on the company. Some thought benefits were needed to attract and retain good employees, other were dragged into it by unions.

Quote:

If we can't eliminate insurance then let's get rid of all employee "benefits". People earn their wage and nothing else.
Benefits are simply another form of compensation. In my case, my company claims my total compensation in the form of vacation, insurance, taxes paid in my behalf, pension, etc. equals about 1/3 of my salary. That's what they charge to their customer. They think I earn all of it. I pay taxes on only the salary. I think it's a good system. ;)

Quote:

Oh wait...think of all the jobs that would be lost pushing paper.
We have about 4,000 employees. Less than 20 are involved in benefits other than wage and salary. A much smaller company would need 1 or 2 people, and they would also handle payroll.

ddmoit 06-22-2009 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott
But who brought the health insurance benefit into the realm of the employer?

It was the unintended consequence of government intervention, of course.

During WWII, the government - acting as if it possessed wisdom greater than the collective knowledge of the market - imposed wage caps. This led to labor shortages when the market value of labor exceeded the caps in certain jobs.

The market work-around was to offer non-monetary incentives that did not count against the wage caps. We've been stuck with employer-based health insurance ever since. In ordinary circumstances, it makes no sense whatsoever to tie health insurance to compensation for labor.

jgleason 06-22-2009 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bbcamp
Depends on the company. Some thought benefits were needed to attract and retain good employees, other were dragged into it by unions.

Actually, I believe it was brought about by the federal government's imposition of wage controls during WWII. The wage controls that were put in place led to the expansion of fringe benefits which were not controlled. This is the reason emplyers really started offering "fringe benefits", it was one way they could attract and retain workers since the feds effectively controlled their ability to offer a higher wage.

In addition, also by federal action, the employment-based health care costs for the employer were treated as a tax-deductible business expense and at the same time not as taxable compensation to the employee.

So, if you decided you would rather purchase your own health insurance you had to do it with after-tax dollars.

(I see Dan beat me to it while I was thinking and typing and trying to work)

LadyGodiva 06-22-2009 11:11 AM

A Canadian once asked me, "why do Americans have a government when they don't want them involved in anything, and most of all, they don't trust them?"

So guys, answer me that please.

bbcamp 06-22-2009 12:18 PM

Quote:

Actually, I believe it was brought about by the federal government's imposition of wage controls during WWII.
Lucky for me, eh? :D

jgleason 06-22-2009 12:36 PM

Yup! Very lucky.

sandbagger 06-22-2009 01:53 PM

not to get too picky, but the idea of employee benefits actually pre-dates WWII by quite a few years - something I only recently learned myownself. That said, it was certainly FDR's government meddling that brought them into the forefront of mainstream business practices. Yet the elected politicos are too arrogant - even today - to realize that the CPAs and lawyers in the private sector will always find some way to circumvent the meddling.

now, to address Bob's questions on solutions - I'll offer up what I think would be a great start (besides shooting the lawyers). Shoot the 50 state insurance czars. You rarely hear much about these folks, but they wield a HUGE amount of power in their respective states. They set the rules within your state, and - most importantly - they prevent you from shopping across your state lines. You want competition? Start here.

bbcamp 06-22-2009 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe
I have little choice in today's market because it is so tightly constrained by government regulations that I can't buy a health insurance plan that excludes maternity coverage even though I am never going to need it.

I ran across this GAO report from a few years back.

Quote:

Originally Posted by GAO
While federal law does not require businesses to offer any specific health benefits, those that choose to cover maternity, mental health, or mastectomy benefits generally must meet minimum federal requirements...

• The Pregnancy Discrimination Act12 requires businesses with 15 or more employees to cover expenses for pregnancy and medical conditions
related to pregnancy on the same basis as coverage for other medical conditions.
• The Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996 requires that employer-sponsored health coverage that includes hospital stays in connection with childbirth must cover a minimum length of stay for mothers and newborns following delivery. For vaginal deliveries, the coverage provided cannot restrict hospital stays to less than 48 hours; for caesarean births, the coverage provided cannot restrict hospital stays to less than 96 hours.

I know this is for employer sponsored insurance plans, but it seem clear that the Feds are not restricting insurance carriers from offering non-maternity health insurance policies.

Art, you advocating shooting people?:sick:Is that covered by that insurance?

bbcamp 06-22-2009 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Art
They set the rules within your state, and - most importantly - they prevent you from shopping across your state lines. You want competition? Start here.

Art, aside from satisfying your bloodlust (:D), what good would that accomplish? Each insurance company doing business in a state must abide by that state's rules. If not, they would fall under federal jurisdiction under interstate commerce laws.

java 06-22-2009 05:26 PM

Quote:

A Canadian once asked me, "why do Americans have a government when they don't want them involved in anything, and most of all, they don't trust them?"

So guys, answer me that please.
Mostly to collect taxes, maintain a military, and keep the Canadians on their side of the border.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heath care in this country is not the problem. The care is great. The ever rising cost is the problem. A large majority of that cost is thanks to our govt. So how about the govt. just finish screwing up what is already on their plate and then when we see how we are doing as a nation after everything is fixed we worry about health care?

Everything with Obama is rush rush. Gotta do it today, right now. That's all by design.

LGB 06-22-2009 05:40 PM

Rodger, I'm sure there is an insurance company out there that will insure you for the right price. It's a matter of if you are willing to pay it or not. And no I didn't read the whole thread with every body doing the same old bickering back and forth.

sandbagger 06-22-2009 08:43 PM

Bob, methinks you missed the point. I heard over the weekend there are something like 1300 insurance plans sold in the US. But your state insurance czar decides which subset of those 1300 that you can buy in Tennessee, and which ones I can buy in AZ, and which ones the folks in Texas can buy. And that person determines things like whether you are forced to pay for maternity coverage you don't want.

So to Leon's point - Roger is forced to pay a rate dictated by the choices in his state. :mad:

Simple question - if I find a plan I like that's sold in Texas, why can't I buy it? :shrug:

jgleason 06-22-2009 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sandbagger
Simple question - if I find a plan I like that's sold in Texas, why can't I buy it?

Yup. It should be simple but governments have a way of making life more difficult. :bang:

NH insurance laws mandate maternity coverage in health insurance policies in the state. Not only that but here are the other items in NH that are mandated, meaning I can't purchase a health insurance policy without these included: (I've bolded the items I would opt out of if I could)

# Alcoholism
# Birthing Centers/Midwives
# Bone Marrow Transplants
# Breast Reconstruction
# Clinical Trials
# Contraceptives
# Dental Anesthesia
# Diabetic Supplies
# Drug Abuse Treatment
# Early Intervention Services
# Emergency Services
# Hair Prostheses
# Mammogram
# Maternity
# Maternity Stay
# Mental Health General
# Mental Health Parity
# Off-Label Drug Use
# Orthotics/Prosthetics
# PKU/Formula




The vast majority of group health plans provide coverage for maternity care, including prenatal care. This is due in large part to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), an amendment to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, that prohibits discrimination based on gender, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions. The PDA requires health plans sponsored by employers with 15 or more employees to cover pregnancy, childbirth, and pregnancy-related conditions in the same way as other temporarily disabling conditions. Though the PDA is not a mandated benefit law, per se, it has the effect of promoting maternity coverage under most employer sponsored health plans. Enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) effectively broadened the reach of the PDA. HIPAA requires all health insurance policies for small employer groups (defined as firms with 2 to 50 employees) to be sold on a guaranteed issue basis. This means small employers not subject to the PDA nonetheless have the opportunity to buy policies with maternity benefits sold to larger employers.


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