Back when I was growing up, there still existed this ‘notion’ that one’s goal was to educate oneself just enough to score a job with a Big Employer who would then be ‘Your Daddy’ till the day you retired. And, as your Employer was the source of your pension, too — they were going to take care of you till the day you died (and, if there was employee-provided life insurance, they’d ‘take care of you’ after you were dead and buried too).
Most people don’t know the story how & why America is the only place where one’s health care is left up to one’s employer instead of, say, the government (like every OTHER civilized country). It started during WWII.
Because the war effort demanded all available cash, employers were prohibited from giving raises to employees or offering a new employee higher pay for a job than it paid previously. To compete for good, new employees though, companies had to do something. A few came up with what was, at the time, a clever idea: “Free Health Care”. That wasn’t prohibited.
Soon, lots of companies were offering it. Then the War stopped. But the practice never did. It continued though it no longer actually made economic sense for anyone — especially while Europe was re-building and instituting socialized systems for health care and education and old age pensions that were paid for via taxes not as some perk offered by employers). What Europe was doing made far better sense — both as economic policy and as social policy.
The citizens of Europe are far healthier, better educated AND MORE COMPETITIVE than most Americans. And now the rest of the shit pie comes out of the oven.
The old Employer-Provided Health Care System is crumbling under its own unsupportable weight. It makes business expensive. Makes goods and services more expensive. Example — an Airbus doesn’t have to build in the cost of its makers’ health care and old age pensions. Boeing, for instance, DOES.
There ARE Real World impacts.
And people don’t work for anyone for Life any more. And companies are scaling back their health care & pensions to MOST employees (not the ones at the very top of course, NEVER the ones at the VERY top…) because they’re too expensive.
America’s business are already gearing up in every way they can to shed ’employees’ and hire ‘contractors’. Gig Economy people.
When that happens, the other vital benefits that Americans came to rely on will go unattended to — with dire consequences. It ain’t rocket science to make that call. It’s so obvious it hurts.
Makes me wish I had a job — so I could go to a doctor about it…