Search This Blog

Friday, March 8, 2019

US Health Insurance Is Unique Among Nations

Sam Baker at Axios:
 Health care in the U.S. is yoked to employment — it's a form of compensation for workers, and then we use a smattering of public programs to fill in the gaps. Other rich countries, though, treat health care like a social program and organize their systems accordingly. And their way is cheaper and more effective.

About half of all Americans have health insurance through an employer, making it the single biggest source of coverage in the country.
  • If you look at other rich countries comparable to the U.S., you’ll find plenty of roles for private insurance. But you won’t find such a close tie between work and health care very often.
  • Most of those countries’ health care systems have better results than we do, for a lot less money. They’re also able to cover almost their entire populations.
How it works: If you get health insurance through your job, your employer probably pays most of your premiums. It doesn’t have to pay taxes on those benefits.
  • That’s the single biggest tax break in the U.S. In 2018 alone, it allowed employers to avoid some $280 billion in taxes they otherwise would have owed, per the Tax Policy Center.