Why Are Employers Still Providing Health Insurance?
Hobby Lobby decision should push Congress to end practice, Jon Healey argues
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2014 1:19 PM CDT
Customers leave a Hobby Lobby store in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 30, 2014.    (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(Newser) – The Hobby Lobby decision still looms large over the opinion pages today. The Wall Street Journal called it "an important vindication of religious liberty," while the New York Times complained that the justices gave "for-profit companies an unprecedented right to impose their religious views on employees." But whatever you think of the decision, Jon Healey at the LA Times thinks it raises an important question: Why are employers still providing health insurance? Or, more accurately, why do they think they are the ones providing it?

In Healey's view, it's actually workers paying for their own health care, because their premiums would otherwise be salary—companies don't "have an extra pocket that healthcare costs come out of." But because employers pick the plans and send the checks, employers like Hobby Lobby think they're the ones "buying" the insurance. "Congress could dispel this accounting fiction and give individuals unfettered choice over their coverage," by shifting tax incentives from employer-purchased plans to individually-purchased ones, Healey argues. Once we needed employers to cobble together risk pools, but now ObamaCare exchanges "perform that function, and do so on a larger scale." Click for his full column.

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Showing 3 of 77 comments
Tony Ventana
Jul 2, 2014 8:52 PM CDT
You can tell the L.A. Times reporter Jon Healey doesn't know anything about how "for profit" free enterprise works. Companies buy insurance at cut rate bulk prices for their employees, even though some employees have to pay some out of pocket money for the insurance. Individuals buying their own single insurance policies pay out the nose for it. Healey's an uninformed idiot, part of the liberal news media.
Marked as Spam?
Jul 2, 2014 6:43 AM CDT
Single payer is a big pool
iq145
Jul 1, 2014 11:12 PM CDT
What would you LOBBY for?: http://www.newser.com/story/188553/us-health-care-is-costliest-least-effective.html http://www.dailydot.com/politics/ginsburg-hobby-lobby-dissent-song/