Employers Back Private Sector Health Reform Solutions

April 23, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new Watson Wyatt survey finds that most U.S. companies prefer relying on private-sector solutions over a single-payer health system or state-level health coverage mandates.

A news release said the study by Watson Wyatt and the National Business Group on Health (NBH) found that 84% of employers do not support a single-payer system such as universal health care coverage, and 78% would prefer fixes from the private sector.

More than two-thirds of employers (69%) said they do not support state legislation such as the law enacted in Massachusetts mandating coverage for state residents (See MA Health Care Board Pondering Employer Payment Hikes ). Some 63% support a joint effort that combines government programs, employer coverage, and individual requirements.

“With the election approaching, health care issues are again in the spotlight,” said Ted Nussbaum, director of group and health care consulting in North America for Watson Wyatt, in the announcement. “The link between health and productivity is a vital part of a company’s success. Most employers are not willing to cede influence over programs that affect their workers’ health.”

More than a third (35%) of respondents said reform proposals are not impacting their decisions to make plan changes, and 62% are still making plan changes as they monitor reform proposals.

Watson Wyatt and NBH surveyed 453 large U.S. employers between November 2007 and January 2008.

Companies Strongly Favor Private Sector Health Care Solutions

Proposal

Very supportive

Somewhat supportive

Not very supportive

Not at all supportive

Universal system such as single-payer

align="center">3%

align="center">13%

align="center">34%

align="center">50%

Public-private combination solution

align="center">10%

align="center">53%

align="center">23%

align="center">15%

Federal legislation supporting private sector solution

align="center">26%

align="center">52%

align="center">14%

align="center">8%

State legislation mandating coverage

align="center">4%

align="center">26%

align="center">33%

align="center">36%

align="center">

align="center"> Watson Wyatt Worldwide

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