Can U.S. Manufacturers Compete with Healthcare Costs and Remain Globally Competitive?

As manufacturers in the U.S. strive to meet the challenge to abide by government regulations for healthcare, two things are clear. First, this challenge presents a clear disadvantage for our manufacturers, compared to overseas manufacturing companies that aren’t subject to the U.S.’s employee healthcare mandates. Second, healthcare costs are rising across the board in administrative, direct and indirect ways. Can manufacturers somehow find ways to overcome these challanges?

Challenges Some Manufacturers Face

The employee healthcare mandates pose a specific challenge to manufacturers in the U.S., some of whom employ more than 300,000 employees. Manufacturers like General Electric, Ford and Hewlett-Packard bear the brunt of rising healthcare costs while their counterparts in other countries escape the added strain on operating expenses. If the auto industry and others are to survive, however, rising healthcare costs must be contained.

The Impact of Healthcare Expenses

There are several ways in which healthcare costs affect manufacturers. One is the added load to administrative employees. Increased oversight and constantly trying to find new ways to keep employees happy with their healthcare benefits have human resource personnel working overtime, sometimes literally.

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