The only reason why companies offerred insurance was to attract and keep good employees. Back then providing coverage was fairy low cost for the employeers to provide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_insurance_in_the_United_States As for employers getting rid of a benefit: One the high unemployment makes it a buyers market. Very few unemployed people will turn down a job because of no insurance benefits. Also, the penality for employers who do not offer a health plan is only $2,000 dollars a person. That is a hell of less money than $6K or $8K. It is possible that some of the money will be offered up as pay raises but don't waste your time thinking it will all go to payroll. For one thing businesses will be losing a tax deduction on the money they spend on health care. Also, we have to remember that Tax increases we sort of dodged early this year are still out there. The Dems will go for the tax increases to pay for the unfunded entitlement programs. If this trend keeps up you can expect the American Middle Class to disappear in a generation or two.