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.
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.
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.
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.