Confusion about employee compensation

By From page A5 | October 04, 2013


The letter written by George Alger on Oct. 2 about Obamacare appears to be confused when comparing government employees to “rank-and-file Americans” concerning health insurance. For example, I work for a private company that pays for my health insurance. In other words, my employer “subsidizes” my health insurance as part of my employment benefits package. If my employer suddenly announced that they would no longer pay for my health insurance, my displeasure would not indicate that I do not like the health insurance plan, but that I instead do not like my total compensation package being reduced.

Congressional employees have their health insurance paid for by their employer, which is the government, as part of their total employment compensation package. If the government no longer paid (or subsidized) the health insurance of those employees, their total compensation package would be lowered considerably. Just as I would be upset if my employer suddenly no longer paid for my health insurance, Congressional workers are also against their employer (the government) eliminating payment for their health insurance. This does not mean they do not like Obamacare. Instead, it means that they are against being paid less for the same amount of work.

In other words, eliminating government health-insurance subsidies for U. S. Government employees is not the same as not providing subsidies for health insurance for private employees. This is an apple and oranges comparison that does not stand up to the light of day.

Cameron Park

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