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View Diary: Denny's CEO not happy about franchisee's Obamacare surcharge threats (214 comments)

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  •  The mess is overpriced... (12+ / 0-)

    For 50 years, there have been tax advantages to having your employer buy insurance for you. If they gave you a $5000 raise, you had to pay income tax on it.

    But if they gave you $5000 in health insurance, it was tax free.

    So healthcare became linked to employment. This was dandy until people got fired or switched to part time and low-wage jobs. Then they lost their healthcare.

    It also screws poor people. If you are in the 15% tax bracket, getting $1000 worth of healthcare gets you a $150 in lower taxes. But if you are in the 35% bracket, it is worth $350 to have your employer pay you in healthcare instead of cash.

    It makes healthcare overpriced because these companies are throwing cash at the healthcare system because it is better than throwing cash at their employees. So the hospital adds a new wing and hires specialists of questionable value. Doctors build their own MRI labs to soak up the cash...

    •  Historically, that's not an accurate accounting (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buckeye Nut Schell, Catte Nappe

      of why/how health care came to be linked to employment.

      If that type of thing matters.

      •  It is a means of control... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ManhattanMan, earthling1, jdld, kurt

        If you have any health issues at all, you cannot risk leaving a job to start a business because you may not be able to get healthcare for your family.  

        I cannot tell you how many times I and other friends have talked about starting our own business and lack of health care has always been one of the disqualifying hurdles.  

        Like student loans and H1B visas, access to health care is used to make people feel anything other than traditional employment is just too risky if not impossible.

        Want to help real small business owners?  Provide them and their employees with free health care and watch entrepreneurship  explode.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 12:59:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, the employment linked (5+ / 0-)

          health care system in the US is an artefact of WW2 era wage controls (from wikipedia):

          Employer-sponsored health insurance plans dramatically expanded as a direct result of wage controls imposed by the federal government during World War II.[17] The labor market was tight because of the increased demand for goods and decreased supply of workers during the war. Federally imposed wage and price controls prohibited manufacturers and other employers from raising wages enough to attract workers. When the War Labor Board declared that fringe benefits, such as sick leave and health insurance, did not count as wages for the purpose of wage controls, employers responded with significantly increased offers of fringe benefits, especially health care coverage, to attract workers.[17]
          not really some nefarious peon control mechanism .  . .
          •  Actually is IS an peon control mechanism. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The wage controls were designed to prevent Workers from getting the economic benefit from labor scarcity during WWII.

            (Nobody stopped corporations from making obscene profits, though. That would have been un-American).

            Maybe that was not how it was planned, but that was the practical effect. And nobody can deny that much of the opposition to single-payer comes from employers who know that Lack Of Healthcare is the only thing stopping their employees from starting their own businesses.

          •  This may be how it started but... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            How long ago did those wage control regulations disappear?  

            Not everything we see is a conspiracy but people do make decisions that benefit their bottom lines and often those decisions, taken by themselves, do seem nefarious.

            I didn't even think my comment seemed controversial in any way.  Businesses absolutely use the H1B visas as a means to have lower competitive wages and to control their workers abilities to competitively market their skill sets.  companies absolutely know that providing beneifits give them some level of security that some workers iwll be afraid to leave.  My wife works in medical billing where many women work their strictly for the benefits. Their husbands have their own businesses and cannot afford healthcare.  Their boss knows this and treats them like crap because she knows there is nothing they can do about it.  She did not treat my wife like crap because she knows that my wife would tell them to shove it.  

            Student loans also require that young college graduates are forced into the labor force at whatever salary they can get for whatever job they can land do to the end of deferments.  I thought this was simply accepted as truth and did not even warrant evidence.  

            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 02:23:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then you must be a big fan of the likes (0+ / 0-)

              of Walmart who don't offer their employees health care.

              By your reasoning they're totally free, not under mind numbing control at all.  

              Like the song goes "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. . . . "

              All that aside, my comment that seems to have really irked you and a couple others was merely an attempt to set the historical record straight.  That's all.  

              •  Nothing you said irked me... (0+ / 0-)

                I tried to make a comment about how employers use healthcare as a means of bonding their employees to their crappy jobs as opposed to starting their own business to compete.

                Walmart has no respect for their employees and consider them easily replacable.  The system is rigged against small business start-ups that could compete against Wal-mart and they have no fear of any competition from any small business (or any real anti-trust litigation for that matter).  

                You seem to be taking this much more personal than I am(or anyone else I have read from my perspective).  My initial comment wasn't meant to be at odds with yours.  It was intended to add another reason we have the current system in place as opposed to a single payer system.  Your fact about WWII benefits was informative without the inclusion of:

                not really some nefarious peon control mechanism .  . .
                Everything up until that point added nicely to the conversation.

                "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:20:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The thing is, the employer based health (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Buckeye Nut Schell

                  started in WW2 when the GOVERNMENT put in place wage controls.

                  It was the PRIVATE EMPLOYERS who tried to get around this - that is benefit the workers - by offering some juicy plums like health insurance.

                  So in this particular story, they're not really the bad guys, seriously, they're not!  And that's basically the historical record for anybody who cares to look it up.

                  •  Yes, that's how it started (0+ / 0-)

                    But is not the case now.

                    Now it's used as a threat over workers to keep them in line. That's why business hasn't backed single payer, which would let them completely off the hook when it comes to health care, lowering their costs.

                    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                    by splashy on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 02:40:19 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

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