This may surprise some, but millions of Americans are unknowingly paying for abortions through their corporate health insurance. What’s more, they have been around for years. This was confusing even before the recent Supreme Court decision, but now this decision adds insult to injury. With Roe gone, until 155 million Americans are now funding a practice that may not be objectionable in their eyes, either illegal in 22 states and punishable up to life in prison.
More than half of Americans accept health insurance through your employer. Many do not have options because their employer only offers one. Whether employees are offered one or more plans, 96 percent of the workforce still have access to abortion plans. When employees enroll in such a plan, they participate in paying for abortions for other members of the plan.
To understand the problem, it is important to understand how employer-sponsored insurance works. When an employee enrolls in an employer-sponsored plan, they receive a portion of their compensation as health insurance premiums. The insurance company then uses the money to pay for the work that she and other employees use to develop the plans—work that often includes abortions.
How is it different from the industry? choose to pay travel costs for workers to obtain an abortion in a state where abortion is legal? Well, in this case, the company is using all the money to pay the expenses. Conversely, when the insurance policy covers abortion, companies are using compensation giving them money. Although employees may not see those dollars in their bank accounts, the money is theirs. However, employers have the power to control how the money is spent.
But workers who don’t want to pay for abortions don’t have to. They must enroll in plans that do not include this policy. Even so, most of the time, the only way they can avoid paying for an abortion is to cancel all of their health care coverage and purchase insurance on any market. They may forgo large sums of money in compensation and spend large sums of their take-home pay on insurance. Most Americans cannot afford to do that.
In an ideal world, employers who only offer services that include abortion would make one health plan available that does not. Doing so may not be financially viable for most small businesses, as offering multiple plans is costly. Of course, big business owners should have no problem finding and buying such products—and that’s what they should do.
However, companies are not the only ones that have a problem with making limited choices. The government has a lot to blame, and has for the last 80 years.
During World War II, the government banned wages but decided that wages should not be controlled by wages. Companies looking for creative ways to attract workers during the war decided to pay for workers’ health care. After the war, Congress re-established the tax exemption that the big bosses relied on. As a result, 91 percent of the workforce they now have access to an employer-sponsored health insurance policy.
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As for many of our health care problems, Congress is responsible for the incentives that force people to buy insurance from their employers. While ending the tax deduction would take a major effort that we won’t see in Congress anytime soon, policymakers should consider ways to bolster the thriving market by removing incentives for employers to provide health care coverage.
There are ways to do this, and it’s not that difficult. For example, Congress could make health savings accounts (HSAs)—similar to medical 401(k)s—more widely available. In particular, they can allow people to use their HSAs to buy insurance in the private market. Lawmakers can too tax deduction reducing the quality of medical care.
While we wait for Congress to act, the judges are not jumping the gun. It is clear that Dobbs it did not mark the end, but the beginning of what promises to be strong a series of court battles which will undoubtedly affect plans offered by employers. Therefore, employers should start thinking about their health now. Similarly, lawmakers should change the tax system to allow patients to use their money in a way that is consistent with their beliefs and to obey the legal decisions that 22 countries have made and calculated. Now that the rolling of Roe have people who are showing a public disagreement on the meaning of health care, we must seize the opportunity to reform our health care system and move forward from a problem that has existed for many years.