When my father started his career in the 1960s, it was generally assumed he would have health benefits funded by his employer for the remainder of his life. But now, as he approaches retirement, those benefits have all but disappeared, with health care one of his largest monthly expenses.

This situation is not unique to my father. As business owners have become saddled with double-digit increases each year for the cost of health insurance, workers are seeing diminished policies, higher co-pays, and higher cost-shares with employers. Today, many small businesses simply can't afford to provide the same level of health benefits they used to — if they can afford to provide them at all.

The entitlement once afforded my father's generation has gone the way of the $2 cup of coffee.

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