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March 28, 2023

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Should Employers Be Required to Offer Health Insurance?

In a break with other large companies—and a major nod to the Obama administration which favors it—Wal-Mart now supports requiring employers to offer health insurance to workers. The support of Wal-Mart, the country’s biggest employer, could help push legislation that Obama says would help pay for covering 46 million uninsured people.

In a break with other large companies—and a major nod to the Obama administration which favors it—Wal-Mart now supports requiring employers to offer health insurance to workers.
The support of Wal-Mart, the country’s biggest employer, could help push legislation that Obama says would help pay for covering 46 million uninsured people.
The National Retail Federation, which opposes any employer mandate along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says it was “flabbergasted” by Wal-Mart’s move.
What do you think?
Should employers be forced to offer health insurance to their employees and pay for all or part of it?


  1. Maxine

    Yes, It has been a longtime coming for retailers to pay for there employee’s insurance,after all they don’t pay the best wages, so they should do something to benefit the employee.


    I regret we have come to this pioint. I think employers should provide health insurance but without government control or intervention. Unfortuantely too many employers have learned how to hire workers as part-time and not pay benefits. Many folks are then forced to have several part-time positions all without health benefits.
    I think employers should rethink this hiring practice and provide workers with health benefits and as an offset the wage structure could be slightly reduced to compensate.
    Government run programs take away from our free trade and capitalism which encourages business to suceed and prosper with hard work. Government mandates will reduce this drive for success and begin to make us complacent and expectant. As well as goverment run programs will have to be funded from my taxes and I don’t see that as a solution.

  3. Nona Lightner

    I think that employers should offer insurance to their employees. So many people, who have health issues, still have to work to pay their bills. Also, medical costs are so high that insurance is necessary.

  4. Design Diva

    Yes I think companies should be required to offer health coverage. Totally free coverage would be great but at the least affordable coverage should be offered. Companies, especially larger ones can get group coverage prices which greatly lowers the costs for both the company and the worker, indivduals do not have this kind of option and most individual insurance for families costs more than a small mortgage every month. It is not right for workers to have to choose between a roof, food, or necessities for their kids and healthcare.

  5. FA

    As long as we don’t have national healthcare and workplace accidents (non-life-threatening, but still requiring a doctor’s visit) keep occuring, then yes, employers should be forced to provide health insurance to their employees. If companies can pay for blackberry data/phone service, then health insurance should be right up there too!

  6. DMR

    I do not think that employers should be forced to offer health insurance. I am currently self employed and would like to believe that one day soon my business will grow so I can employ one or two more people. If I need to provide health care, neither my business will grow, nor will I be able to hire any help at a critical junction. This might create an unfair advantage to large business who can more easily comply with such a mandate and inhibit small business from growing. A better solution would be personal health savings plans and affordable insurance options for small business and individuals so we can each have more control over our own coverage and decisions.

  7. Niecy25

    I absolutely think that employers should not be required to offer health insurance for two reasons. One, health insurance has become more about profits and less about health care. Two, if employers did not have to pay for health insurance, then they could afford to hire more people at higher pay.

  8. Eileen L

    No – Being out of work currently, I’d rather see a system where the insurance follows the employee, and not be dependent on the employer. Maybe in a form where the employer pays a health tax for each employee to help fund it. But with most jobs lasting last than 5 years, we need to find a way that you can stay insured without being employed.

  9. Sue Hucko

    I believe employers should offer health insurance to their employees and decent health insurance packages that the employees can pay into. I do not believe a person’s health insurance should end when his or her job does and I feel that health insurance is a life and death issue. I also believe that there are currently a number of temp agenices in major cities offering what they are calling health insurance packages, but what are in fact, scams or health insurance that the majority of doctors do not accept. They are exploiting the workers and getting away with it. I do believe heavy regulation is needed in this area and laws need to be put into to place to avoid this exploitation….where scam artist salesmen are making high commissions by selling “insurance” that is in effect worthless paper. I think all of this needs to be investigated. How can we have a strong nation if we don’t care about our citizens’ health? It is outrageous how the prices of healthcare have skyrocketing over the past recent years all due to greed. Absolutely outrageous.

  10. Helen

    I don’t think we should be restricted to receiving Health insurance through Employers. They call America the land of the free, but it isn’t when your family needs medical care and the only way you can have it is by possibly working at a dead end job. What kind of life is that? That is not freedom where I come from!

  11. Susan White

    I’m in favor of employers offering insurance because they’re in a better position to control the costs. Even if employees have to share the costs of insurance, it would still be less than the cost that an employee would pay for an individual policy.

  12. mact

    Since we are in the process change in America, I think that it is a mistake to require employers to offer health insurance to employees. I believe that a better plan is to restructure health care and the insurance program to enable households to purchase their own insurance, so that their health security is not dependant on their employment. I have had to change doctors with each new employer because of the difference in coverage. I want an affordable plan, that can be added to that I can establish based on the needs of my family and not the needs of my employer.

  13. Jill Bishop

    Yes, employers should be required to provide insurance to employees. Maybe this will help to get some contol on medical costs and the outrageous prescription drug expenses charged by US drug companies.

  14. Jean B

    Yes – I think employers should be forced to offer health insurance. Companies claim to over competitive salaries, but fall short on competitive compensation without offering health insurance. Either this, or the company should be required to pay a substantial annual extra compensation to the employee, equal to the cost of health insurance, for the employee to purchase their own.

  15. The employer mandate is targeted at large employers. What large employer doesn’t offer healthcare benefits? So the mandate would accomplish what exactly? It’s the small to mid size employers that don’t offer benefits and why don’t they? Because they can not afford it. This mandate wouldn’t change that fact. So, again, how does it help? In fact, it is more likely to cause businesses to fail and an increase of part time or independent contract positions throwing the burden of healthcare (and retirement) back on the individual (who is now earning less). It’s difficult to see how employer mandated health insurance makes sense for anyone…except maybe Walmart.
    It really isn’t surprizing that Walmart supports this mandate. What do they have to lose? 95% of their employees already have health insurance (40+% through spouses and the government) so they are in no real danger of incurring greater expense. This economy favors them. A plan that puts the end to more of their competition and helps prolong the sluggish economy is a good plan for them. The “letter of support” provided a great opportunity to make nice with their biggest union and cozy up to the new White House administration while being ambiguous enough to leave plenty of room for withdrawal of support should they have a change of heart. Win, Win, Win. And no one is so upset that they will actually stop shopping at Walmart. Nothing to lose, everything to gain.
    Yes, the plan should absolutely be supported by Walmart….and no one else!

  16. Madeline Case

    It would be a great idea.
    Where I used to work over 20 years ago, my company had such a plan. I fact, we had two different plans that was free as a company benefit.
    Too many people are out of work and those that are, it would be very generous of employers to help their employees out.

  17. Kim

    In an ideal world employers should provide health care insurance but realistically alot of employers cannot afford it. Large companies like Walmart can get better rates on insurance for employees due to the amount of enrollees in the health plans. Small businesses & their employees are forced to pay higher rates. Forcing all employers to offer health insurance is not a feasible option.

  18. Beverly

    Should employers care about the welfare of their employees? If no, then why bother hiring people to do a job–hire a robot instead. But if you think employers should care about the welfare of their employees, then employers should be required to offer health insurance to their employees, to encourage people to take charge of their health with regular visits to their primary care doctor, thus helping to prevent health problems through early treatment. Poor health leads to long term chronic issues and more sick days. Free yourself from bias and fear and stop treating this issue as a political football. Here is a quote from a website you must visit to view the facts: “When health in the United States is compared to health in other countries, the picture is disappointing. The World Health Organization, in its annual World Health Statistics 2008, compares the United States to the nations of the world on a large variety of measures. While the U.S. does exceed many countries, it is far from the best in many of the common measures used to gauge our healthiness and lags behind its peers in other developed countries.” To see all of the facts, copy and paste this url into your browser —

  19. Nancy

    As a former small business owner, I say no to making employers pay for health insurance. We had to let our only employee go, when Blue Cross said we had to cover everyone or no one working for the company. We couldn’t afford to pay for an employee’s health insurance and ours too. The employee had to be let go, because we needed helth insurance for ourselves and our two children. I know that there are many others in the same situation.

  20. Valerie Raineri

    I feel that all employers should offer medical insurance. I am currently unemployed and paying my own insurance and I find that more employers are saying that the range for qualification for insurance is anywhere from 3 – 6 months. That is a crime and they should be ashamed of themselves. I think it should be upon day on employment in order to show that you care about an employee not another cost cutting measure.

  21. UGH, can this administration think of any more ways to destroy the very fabric of America and freedom of choice. Great, the company gives you health benefits but then pays you minimum wage so they can pay for these “forced” benefits.
    Why don’t we just hire the Walmart executives to run the country since they seem to have all the money and know how to run a business. The country is afterall a business like it or not. Walmart understands you can’t spend more than you make!!!
    Where is Patrick Henry when we need him?

  22. ERM

    Yes, employers should offer health insurance for their employees and should pay for a good portion of it. Employees that are sick are opting to go to work while sick (spreading their germs making others sick) because they can’t afford to go to the doctor or stay home (because so many employers don’t even offer sick days). The employers need to stop being so greedy and care about their workers.

  23. SirRealism

    Simple math: If the government requires me, as an employer, to pay for insurance, then I adjust the employees’ salaries accordingly.

  24. Mary L

    I seriously question all the ballyhoo about the supposed contribution of “small businesses” to America and its workforce. Small businesses are credited with providing 3/4 of all new jobs in the workforce; the majority of those jobs are entry level points for women, older workers and younger workers. BUT SINCE MOST OF THESE JOBS ARE ENTRY LEVEL / LOWER PAID JOBS, ALL OTHER INSURED AMERICANS ARE REALLY FOOTING HIGHER BILLS DUE TO THE EMERGENCY AND CATASTROPHIC CARE EVENTUALLY RECIEVD BY UNDERPAID WORKERS WHO ARE FORCED TO PUT OFF HEALTHCARE DUE TO THE COST.

  25. This brings me to an idea:…

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  27. Casey Blase

    This country has become like a kid with a lost wallet. The parents trust the kid to make the right decision and return it, all until the kid decided to keep it, then the choice is gone.
    Companies have made it the practice to only hire part time people. If you don’t want to make it mandatory for employers to give health insurance, then you need to do the opposite, and revoke the right of the employer to give health insurance.
    I am not saying its the best idea, but look at the outcome: Employers go back to hiring full time people since they aren’t worried about benefits. Wages start reflecting real life costs because benefits are taken out of the equation which employers use to DRASTICALLY lower wages. Insurance companies will be forced to change practices based on pre-existing conditions because it will no longer be something only the poor and under/unemployed/independent work force faces.
    The truth is, in this country companies do not have a reason to hire people full time, and give benefits except to a ever decreasing ammount of people. As such one extreme or the other is needed, and in all honesty it’s needed not for the health care aspect, but for the wages of the majority of the work force.
    Think about in your daily life how many people you interact with that want to be full time, and possibly even buy their own health insurance, but can’t because the employer would rather keep the hours low and not give benefits. A double edged sword that needs to be taken care of on one end or the other.
    (People in your daily life you see that I can promise 90% of the time are part time people who wish they could be full time: Retail Clerks, Stock Clerks, Bank Tellers, Cooks, Call Center, Receptionist, Salon Clerks, Cashiers. I am sure you can think of more.)

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