Monday, October 12, 2009

Did Unions Cause Our Health Insurance Crisis?

As usual, Jake of the EconomPic blog posted an interesting chart. He shows that the cost of employee benefits, from 2001 to 2009, increased a lot, while wages and salaries remained relatively flat.

My comment that I posted on his site, based on the same BLS data:

Health benefits are 11.4 percent of union members total compensation, but only 6.6 percent of non-union workers.

In 2001, health benefits for union workers, were 8.1 percent and for nonunion workers, 5.2 percent.

Health insurance costs for union workers rose more than for non-union workers.

What motivates unions to negotiate for more expensive health benefits instead of higher wages?

Are unions responsible for the above inflation run up in US health insurance costs and our current health insurance crisis?
I find it interesting that no one mentions the role unions may have played in letting health care costs go unchecked.

The run up in health care benefits costs was 50 percent higher for union workers than non-union workers from 2001-2009.

Could it be that since so many health care workers are unionized that the private sector unions had incentives to push for increases in health care costs to allow the unions to negotiate for higher health care worker wages and benefits?

1 comment :

  1. I think its the health plan that an employer make for their employees motivates them more than any other kind of benefit. We all know that employees will never buy a health plan at their own as it will cost them higher and even some will not find it affordable. But when employer makes this option not only their health is maintained but it serves as an increment in their morale.