Health Care Should Not Be a "Benefit"
Marriott International -- the company behind the hotels -- is considered among the best employers in the country. Low turnover, good benefits and good access to the higher-ups. Forbes ranks it at #72 on their "Best Companies to Work For List." And reading this blog post by CEO Bill Marriott, it's easy to see why. "During these tough times," he writes, "it has become more difficult for employees at many U.S. companies, including Marriott, to work a sufficient number of hours to continue to qualify for health benefits." As such, Marriott has "suspended measuring hours worked to maintain health care benefits."
That's a good, humane policy. But in being the exception to the rule, its very existence is an excellent argument against the employer-based health-care system. Access to health care should not be dependent on the kindness of your employer. It should not be dependent on the value that the marketplace attaches to a worker's precise set of skills. It should not be dependent on choosing an industry that doesn't go through wrenching change and downsizing 20 years after you first entered it (as happened to any number of manufacturing workers or, for that matter, California state employees).
It can seem like a gauzy platitude, but in the 21st century, the richest nation the world has ever known should be able to make health-care coverage a given; not a perk, not a gift, and certainly not a "benefit."
Posted by: jrileym | July 13, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: johnsondeb | July 13, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MosBen | July 13, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: latts | July 13, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: anne3 | July 13, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: lensch | July 13, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: spotatl | July 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: michaelterra | July 13, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | July 13, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tomtildrum | July 13, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.