Acton Institute Powerblog

Acton Commentary: A Second Opinion on Employer Responsibility for Heath Care

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Health care reform is likely to move back into the public eye as a new Congress and a new Obama administration prepare to start work this month. In this week’s Acton Commentary, Dr. Don Condit argues for a move away from employer funded health care benefits to a portable system. “Corporate human resources departments should not be viewed as the main source of support for Americans’ health care,” he writes. “The iniquitous government subsidy for employer-based health care could be redirected to help those without access to affordable health care, by virtue of poverty or chronic disease.”

Read this commentary over at the Acton website and post your comments below.

Brittany Hunter


  • Tracy

    I definitely think our nation is working toward portable system for healh care. For example a large HMO company in CA has started moving toward a portable system where patients can use semi automated system to see their doctor and they offer separate service where the patient can purchase service based on their needs. I see a growing trend since their is a rapid change employees job functions and different climate of employees seeking jobs. Now more then ever employees seeking jobs are retired age to young adult working several jobs. Most of the work now ae contracts or temporary jobs that employers are not providng health insurance. With these conditions health insurance is moving toward portable system.

  • Denise

    I’ve been a Benefits manager for over 20 years and have seen all the changes to our healthcare system from an employers viewpoint. While I like the idea of portable healthcare, I am concerned that left to their own choices most employees will not choose coverage that will meet their healthcare needs. So few of my employees even look at the coverage they select with us. They ignore the annual Open Enrollment chance to evauluate and change coverage due to changes in their life. I think too many would choose to underinsure themselves based on the cost of the coverage. Even if you had employers pick up the tab (or a portion of the tab) of the coverage when they hire an employee, I know that there are those that would market themselves as more desirable due to their lesser benefit cost to an employer. I do think the option is worth being discussed by the new administration.

  • Ken

    Until we manage to separate the economy and the State (and I’m not holding my breath), I think that health savings accounts are the best way to achieve portable health insurance. One negotiates with one’s provider to accept UCR reimbursement levels; it’s a benefit to the provider, who gets the same reimbursement for less paperwork. The customer benefits by taking more responsibility. The moral benefit alone is salutary.

  • JB

    The discussion of health insurance never seems to include all the factors.

    One reason to have insurance associated with a job is: group rates. That is why the younger employees are “over insured.” Without the group rates, some people that have high risk conditions will pay very high premiums.