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Man facing a maze In many ways, we have fundamentally lost sight of the purpose of insurance and the role of consumers in making informed choices about how they obtain and pay for care. (Image: Shutterstrock)

Employer-based health insurance was the answer to a perfect storm of post-World War II problems. A clever scheme to circumvent wage freezes and labor shortages gained a political foothold that has been nearly impossible to dislodge. For employers and employees alike, the mid-20th century model has become too costly, too rigid, and too confusing for today’s consumer-driven economy.

The COVID-19 crisis will force hard economic choices. How can we provide health benefits and still defend the bottom line? How can we attract and retain good employees? How can we improve employee health care?

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