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Rx: Role of Employers

Pete Springer/OPB

Oregon’s two largest public employee unions just settled with the state on a contract for the next two years. Health insurance benefits often play a significant role in negotiations between unions and employers. But companies, especially small businesses, are becoming increasingly burdened with the rising costs of providing health care. It’s unclear how the health care system will change if President Obama signs a new bill into law. It’s hard to keep track of all the health care proposals working their way through Congress, but all of them would affect the way employers provide health insurance to some degree.

A bill proposed by Democrats in the House would mandate employers cover employees but it would exempt small employers. A Republican plan does not include mandates but does provide tax credits to small businesses. If a public option is part of whatever plan is ultimately adopted, it’s certain to impact employers, though there’s little agreement about what that impact would be.

Are you happy with your health insurance? Are you covered by your employer? Are you self-insured? Are you a small business struggling to provide health insurance to your employees? Do you work in the insurance industry? How would changing the role of employers in health care affect you?


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