Businesses to keep close eye on numbers

Businesses, who have watched the cost of health-care benefits for employees rise at double-digit rates in recent years, have a lot at stake in the health-care debate.

William Hsiao says that, on the whole at least, businesses stand to see at least modest decreases in health-care costs under his single-payer plan.

In 2009, according to his study, the health-care premium paid by employers amounted to 11.3 percent of their total payroll. By 2015, he says, that figure is projected to reach 12 percent.

Hsiao’s plan would mark an end to a World War II-era system in which businesses tend to be responsible for their workers’ health-care policies. Under the single-payer model, businesses would instead see a new payroll tax. In 2015, Hisao said, that tax is expected to be 11 percent – one percent less than what businesses would have paid under the old system.

Employees too would be subject to a payroll tax, however Hsiao says they too would save money on the whole.

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