• Workers stay healthier and are more productive.
• There is potential loss of loyal and experienced employees because of an expected increase in their out-of-pocket costs or of their conversion from full to part-time employment.
• While health coverage is tax-deductible for employers, the large penalties are not.
• Workers who are forced to find their own health plan might expect additional compensation, and wages also are not tax-deductible.
These dynamics presumably came into play with unfolding of the similarly structured 2006 Massachusetts healthcare act. Despite the same concern about employers eliminating employee coverage, the percentage of employer-insured workers in Massachusetts has remained consistent and has actually increased slightly in the nearly six years since the law's implementation.
So, in retrospect, it would seem that during World War II, the corporate world responded to a dramatic change by acting in its long-term interest and offering employees health insurance. Despite dire predictions, employers will likely do the same in 2014, if they consider fact rather than emotion.
Foster, a Charleston physician and state senator, was chosen as the Sunday Gazette-Mail's West Virginian of the Year because of his tireless crusading to reform the health system.