Will American Businesses Ever Leave the Health Care World?


Some employers that are exasperated by raising health care costs have quietly questioned whether it isn’t time for the government to take over the responsibility of providing health care through a single-payer system.

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”  – The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

For some time, people have wondered aloud for how much longer employers will sponsor health care coverage for their employees given the cost. They’ve speculated whether the erosion of employer-sponsored health care would be gradual (perhaps beginning with small and midsize employers) or sudden (including large employers). Will employers leave the health system voluntarily or be forced out?

In short, is there a “tipping point” that, once crossed, will spell the end of broad-based employer-provided health coverage?

This paper examines some of the factors that would influence the “tipping point.”