Who Should Pay for Health Insurance? A Survey of Business Leaders Finds They Don't Want to Foot the Bill

Survey of business leaders' opinions on health care

During 1995 and 1996, researchers at the Economic and Social Research Institute conducted a two-part survey of employers' opinions about the role of business in financing employee health care coverage. The survey explored issues concerning:

  • Coverage of employees' children and families.
  • The role of the private sector in financing public coverage.
  • Possible ways of assisting the uninsured.

The institute, based in Washington, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization specializing in health and social policy research.

Key Findings

  • More than nine out of ten of the businesses surveyed contributed at least in part to their workers' health care coverage, although fewer than one in ten was in favor of total support of the cost of workers' coverage.

  • Forty-two percent believed that the business portion of this cost should be less than 50 percent.

  • Most businesses expressed concern for the uninsured, with particular concern for uninsured children; however, approximately two-thirds of the respondents stated that their companies would not be very willing to do more to address this issue.

  • A majority of businesses surveyed believed that the cost of caring for uninsured children should be spread across society, rather than being shouldered by business.