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System gives edge to big employers

September 27, 2009

Re: David Lazarus' consumer column "Everyone into a healthcare pool," Sept. 20:

Employers should be proscribed from offering health insurance as a benefit, period.

It's a competitive edge for larger companies and is snuffing very badly needed innovation in many industries.

The right wing in this country claims to be "pro-small business," yet in this significant way, it sides with big business against the small guy.

Bob Hillman

Thousand Oaks


Apparently David Lazarus does not let facts get in the way when there is a (misguided) point he wants to make.

Lazarus says employees are getting the short end of the stick because their cost for health insurance premiums has increased 128% over the last decade. Meanwhile, employers' costs have increased 132%, yet they somehow are making out on the deal.

Gerry Swider

Sherman Oaks


Lazarus bemoans the "fact" that workers are bearing increasing percentages of their healthcare costs.

Using Mr. Lazarus' numbers: Over the last decade, average healthcare premiums for a U.S. family have gone from $5,791 to $13,375 and the portion borne by the employee has gone from $1,543 to $3,515.

Most fifth graders could explain that a decade ago employees bore 26.6% of their premiums and now they bear 26.3% of their premiums.

It would be nice if Mr. Lazarus would present some real solutions instead of pounding the podium of socialism.

Martin Ehrlich



I support the goal of universal coverage and believe a government option is the most economical way to achieve it. But I am against the plans being considered because of their employer mandate.

I am starting up a small business and in a few years could have more than 50 employees. However, the typical pay will be about $10 an hour, and most will be part time.

What scares me is having to spend $5,000 to $6,000 a year on health insurance for a full-time worker making $20,000 a year. Doing that for part-timers would be even more ruinous.

Expecting employers in lower-wage industries to shoulder the same burden as companies that pay workers $100,000 a year isn't fair or feasible.

Drew Davis

Redondo Beach

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