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High costs crush employers (MS)

HEALTH INSURANCE executive James Roosevelt Jr. implores policy makers to build on employer-based, private health insurance when considering national healthcare reform ("Healthcare: Let’s build on what we know," Op-ed, April 9). Yet, as the executive director of a small nonprofit organization, I purchase health insurance for our employees, and the astronomical prices lead me to very different conclusions.

The high cost of health insurance is a lead weight pressing down on business, government, and nonprofit employers of all types. The cost of healthcare encourages employers to avoid hiring wherever possible and to outsource jobs to countries where businesses do not pay for the healthcare of their employees. It’s a major reason why General Motors and other automakers are teetering on the edge of disaster.

And what do we get for our money? By nearly any measure, from infant mortality to average life span, we are less healthy than our counterparts in other industrial nations.

Let’s start our health reform discussion from this piece of shared knowledge: The US private health insurance model has failed.

Avi Green Cambridge