Health benefits: Different circumstances for public- and private-sector workers

The Wall Street Journal examines the benefits gap between state and local government employees and their counterparts in the private sector. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Consolidated Edison has reinstated health insurance for New York workers locked out during contract negotiations.

The Wall Street Journal: Number Of The Week: Public Workers More Likely To Have Health Benefits
It's no secret that public employees tend to get better benefits than their private-sector counterparts. But a new report from the Labor Department this week is still striking in just how wide the gap is. ... The starkest contrast, though, is in health care. 73% of state and local government workers-;including 83% of full-time workers-;receive health benefits through their jobs. In the private sector, barely over half, 51%, of all workers get health benefits, and just under two-thirds, 64%, of full-time workers do. (The statistics only look at the percentage of workers who receive benefits through their employers, not at how many of them are without health insurance altogether.) Statistically speaking, there are two major reasons for the discrepancy. First, public employees are much more likely to be offered benefits than their private-sector counterparts: 99% vs. 86% for full-time employees. Second, public employees are much more likely to accept benefits when given the opportunity (Casselman, 7/14).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Con Ed Reinstates Locked-Out Workers' Health Insurance, But No Progress In Talks
Consolidated Edison has reinstated health insurance for 8,500 locked-out New York utility workers. A Con Ed spokesman said Sunday that negotiations with the Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 will resume Monday as another heat wave is expected to hit New York City (7/15).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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