Wash Post Highlights Rising Health-Care Costs

By March 24, 2008Health Care

Washington Post, page one today, an overview of an issue that manufacturers know all too well: “Rising Health Costs Cut Into Wages — Higher Fees Squeeze Employers, Workers“:

Employees and employers are getting squeezed by the price of health care. The struggle to control health costs is viewed as crucial to improving wages and living standards for working Americans. Employers are paying more for health care and other benefits, leaving less money for pay increases. Benefits now devour 30.2 percent of employers’ compensation costs, with the remaining money going to wages, the Labor Department reported this month. That is up from 27.4 percent in 2000.

The NAM’s Jeri Gillespie is quoted.

Nearly nine out of 10 firms that responded to a National Association of Manufacturers survey last year named the cost of health insurance as one of their top-three worries — ranking it higher than government regulation, competition from imports or finding qualified employees.

An increasing number of companies are trying to control costs by promoting employee wellness campaigns and pushing insurance companies and health providers for more details about their operations.

“Certainly, it is frustrating for the benefit managers and the budgeters,” said Jeri Gillespie, vice president for human resources policy at NAM. “They say, ‘my pot is only so big every year and our health-care costs are rising.’ “

Speaks for itself, really.

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