There are many things that we choose to do that are not "rights". We choose to do them for a variety of reasons -- good or bad -- and charge the costs back to the overall population.
Personally, I think we took a wrong turn in having employer financed health insurance and believe we would be better off if we got rid of it. Failing that, we should at least eliminate all public subsidies for such insurance and treat the full cost as income to the recipients and employees should receive pay stubs that show their full income, including the employer subsidy for insurance, and the deduction to pay for that coverage. Why should employees receive a tax break not available to the uninsured or to the self insured?
Currently, we all pay for health insurance benefits for ourselves and for others. However, the full cost of these benefits is hidden behind the curtains.
If I try to buy employee coverage for my staff, I must agree to pay a minimum of 50% of the total cost and to provide coverage for all staff if I have 10 or fewer employees. Why is this true? Because insurance companies know that younger and healthier employees will not opt to buy insurance at all if they have to pay the full cost and are provided with a choice. Some of the costs being ascribed to national health insurance represents the cost of providing insurance for the uninsured and the underinsured. Other costs simply represent a shift from employer paid premiums to publicly paid premiums.
As an employer owning a small business (varying from under 10 to about 110 staff over time), I found myself thinking about health insurance a lot. One year I saw our premiums increase by over 40% because of two employees: one person that had a heart attack and open heart surgery three weeks after joining our staff, and one employee that purchased fertility services after only a few months of employment to become pregnant and have her premature twins while on our policy. Those two employees represented more than half of the total health claims incurred on behalf of my 100 staff. In both cases, their health bills exceeded their total salaries. In both cases the employees had worked for us less than six months and did not return to work after incurring their expenses. However, they continued to be charged against our plan under COBRA for more than a year. The impact on our experience rated plan lasted for three years. I will admit that my experience in those two cases had some effect on my hiring decisions thereafter even though the law prohibits employers from considering such issues. As a company, our health insurance costs were so high that we could not compete for some business where our allowable overhead rates were capped (AT&T was the client) and lost revenues and terminated 35 staff as a direct result. Ultimately, we eliminated all dependent coverage subsidies. When our insurance company insisted that we subsidize 50% of the cost for all staff and dependents, we eliminated coverage altogether.
I view employer financed health insurance as discriminatory against small employers and as a deterrent to employment of lower income staff and older staff. It contributes directly to outsourcing and off-shoring of jobs and damages our economy more than would be the case with more broadly based taxes (corporate or personal). Increases in the cost of health insurance have far outpaced increases in either revenues or salaries. Over a period of 10 years, I saw the costs of our family coverage increase from less than $3000/year to over $20,000/year. I'm sure that it was a coincidence that during the same period many of the insurers actually were becoming direct service providers at the same time and that their profits were increasing by double digit amounts each year. The system that we have now is completely broken. If we do not move towards national health insurance, I predict that the percentage of uninsured and underinsured will increase to be a majority of the population over the next ten years.