There is mounting pressure at the federal (and state) level to require employers to provide health insurance to their employees. However, two quite different groups of workers could be affected by such a mandate. In addition, there are at least five major problems with requiring employers to provide health insurance. Chief among these is the further fracturing of the insurance market, so that the spreading of risk will be reduced, and only the young and healthy will be offered insurance at relatively low premiums. We should be designing a health insurance system that has both universal coverage and a cost-containment structure. Toward this end, we need to tackle issues that transcend alternative methods of financing health care in the U.S.

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