By Larry Brown, April 2, 2019
Union members enjoy some of the best health care that working-class Americans can expect to receive. Unions have fought long and hard to establish and maintain these benefits and they are justly proud of their achievements. In the absence of a national health plan, they have sacrificed much to negotiate a modicum of security for their members and their families.
More than half of all Americans still access health care through employment-based benefit plans. There is a myth that Americans love their health plans and want to preserve them at all costs. But providing an important public good like health care as a benefit linked to employment rather than as a right available to all is an accident of history. This linkage is not only a bad idea, it is also simply unsustainable.
No other advanced industrialized country links health care to employment like the U.S. does.