An insurance alternative

Americans should have the right to health care without stifling small businesses.

Ronald Dixon

Millions of Americans are reliant upon their employers for health insurance. However, the rate at which employers are providing insurance to their workers has been dropping for the last decade. 

Thankfully in Minnesota, though, the rate of employees with insurance through their employers is the fourth highest in the nation. According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, the rate is at 68.7 percent, compared to the national rate of 58.3 percent. Despite this higher number, we find that the rate in Minnesota dropped 8.6 percent over the last decade, while the rest of the nation saw a drop of 10 percent.

The primary factor that led to this decline in employer-based health insurance is the fact that small business owners are simply unable to cover many of the health insurance plans. As the costs of health care continue to rise, coupled with the economic recession and the proceeding lukewarm recovery, we find that it has become difficult for small-business job creators to pay for these plans. The Affordable Care Act helped mitigate some costs by providing tax credits for small businesses that kept providing insurance, but the new law is not enough to tackle the shrinking rate at which insurance is being provided via employers.

An obvious solution to this problem would be to improve the economy, but we must ask ourselves a rudimentary question about the issue of health care in our nation. Is it in the best interest of citizens to have insurance provided to them by their employers via insurance companies?

When small businesses, which comprise 50 percent of private-sector jobs, must decide between making a profit and providing health insurance to their employees, the decision isn’t always clear. Extra costs cut into their profit margins by a greater percentage than large businesses. These decisions uniquely affect young people who have a harder time getting full-time and long-term jobs.

There is a conflict of interest when employers have to decide between providing basic health insurance and the well-being of their business.