The majority of Americans rely on health insurance to access affordable health care. However, health care spending continues to rise sharply, now making up 20 percent of the U.S. economy. Prescription drug prices have also risen sharply over the last several decades, greatly adding to the cost of health insurance for Laborers and LIUNA signatory employers.
Despite the importance of health insurance, many non-union construction workers don’t have any health coverage. People without health insurance are much more likely to postpone necessary treatment or go without it altogether, to be financially burdened by medical bills when they do seek treatment and to receive later-stage diagnoses of chronic illnesses. This is especially problematic in an industry like construction, where workers are at increased risk for workplace injuries and illnesses.
Union workers are far more likely to receive health insurance through their employer. Providing access to health insurance – especially the comprehensive coverage typically provided through union health and welfare funds – can improve physical and mental health status and quality of life for workers and their dependent family members.