In the health care debate, the logic of having employers pay for health care is not frequently discussed. I think people feel it's sticking it to those who can afford it and questioning it is not politically acceptable.
Small business owner Don Mayer says it's "Time to End Employer-Based Health Insurance."
I mostly agree.
It's not about the interests of business -- it's about the interest of all of us. Whenever an expense is wrongly channeled, it introduces inequities and inefficiencies.
Even more rarely discussed is the -economic- sense of guaranteed, universal, baseline medical care for all citizens. We should have the basics covered universally.
It makes no economic sense to accept gross inefficiencies.
It makes no sense to have people walk around sick, go to emergency rooms for health care, skip preventive medicine because of the cost, or be sub-par, mentally and physically, because they are not getting basic treatment. When a clinic visit costs three days' wages, people go to work sick and skip their medications.
It also makes no sense to saddle our businesses with an extra cost and place them at a disadvantage in a global market. It is, as you say, a tax which adds a percentage to labor costs for all their US-based employees. Actually, it is worse than a tax since it goes not to the public, but to insurance companies who decide what medical care we are permitted!
Even if we disregard the humane considerations, the current system makes no sense.
I disagree a little bit, in that I am all for employer-supplied health benefits -- at the company's discretion and subject to competitive incentives. With a basic care system covered by all -- still a tax, but honest and visible -- companies can decide whether to offer add coverage and how much to offer.