HEALTH INSURANCE: Most Employees Satisfied
Seventy percent of Americans are satisfied with the current balance between their benefits and wages, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Twenty percent of surveyed employees said they would accept "lower wages in exchange for higher health benefits," while 8% stated the reverse. Institute President Dallas Salisbury said, "Strong support for the employment-based system is the result of respondents' satisfaction with their health protection and their high confidence that their employers and union make the best selection available." Spokesperson Paul Fronstin added, "There's obvious benefits to having employment-based health insurance, and there's obvious drawbacks, but we don't have a better system." The Washington Times, noting that employers are the most common source of health insurance for Americans under 65, reports that the survey coincides with "[a]t least seven" bills pending in Congress that "will try to bolster workplace-provided insurance." The latest of these is a measure by Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), which would provide a $500 refundable tax credit to individuals and $1,000 for families to be used for health insurance costs. The Institute said at least four more bills are expected to be introduced (De Marco, 5/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.