Episode #74

Goodbye Company Health Plan?

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Protesters for and against Obamacare outside the Supreme Court. (Getty Images)

October 1 is a watershed moment for Obamacare because that's the day people can start signing up health insurance, online, through public exchanges. But against this backdrop, there are also signs of a sea change in how private employers will offer health insurance.

This week on Money Talking, regular contributors Joe Nocera of the New York Times and Rana Foroohar of Time magazine weigh in on the future of private-employer health care. 

Walgreens this week announced it's going to shift employees from a company plan to one where workers chose their own health care through private exchanges.

Change is also coming for thousands of retirees at companies like IBM and Time Warner. Goodbye company health plan. Hello, choosing one through exchanges.

Hosted by:

Charlie Herman

Produced by:

Daniel P. Tucker


Rana Foroohar and Joe Nocera
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Comments [2]

garydpdx from Portland, Oregon

Further to dimmensio - the concept of national health came from (or at least most famously attributed to) Otto von Bismarck and was opposed by communists, socialists and unionists of the day as a plot to squeeze more production out of the labor force. How ironic! Margaret Thatcher was also a supporter of the concept, saying that it was good policy but qualifying that she didn't believe that health care was a right.

Sep. 20 2013 02:44 PM

An excellent discussion this morning. However, health care, like education, should be seen not in moral but in utilitarian and operational terms. A healthy individual, a healthy workforce, is more effective, more content and more productive. The Affordable Health Care Act is a poorly cobbled compromise that is ripe for gaming, witness current employer actions. Transactional costs in the US health care system, including transference of responsibility and choice (that all American "good") is coupled with ignorance and indecision on the part of the consumer now less empowered and with less leverage than the employer. The gaming should be seen as a burden shifting exercise, hence an expense shift.
The US does need a single payer system because it is more efficient and more effective but it flies in the cultural belief that competition actually operates (witness pricing at nearby gasoline stations) and will control pricing and benefits. These cultural myths have to be demolished to allow an alternative approach to human decision making, viz. every modern behavioral economist - the Age of Reason has long died, a wake is needed.

Sep. 20 2013 09:04 AM

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