Bill Quick, in a post from the summertime that bounced back into view, points out the basic structural problem with the current paradigm for so-called “employee benefits”:
Those “free” benefits are paid for by you with your much reduced salary. Is your employer one of those who notes on your paycheck all the “free” benefits they are so graciously bestowing on you? Well, add all that money directly to your own salary, and that’s how much you’d be earning without those “freebies.” Think you could shop around and do better than what your employer, GargantoCorp, is spending your money on for “your” benefits?
Assuming, of course, that GargantoCorp would actually raise salaries to compensate for freebies withdrawn, which in the current corporate climate seems unlikely.
That said, though, were the government’s thumb removed from the scales, I suspect I could find quite a nice package for way less than is being spent now on my ostensible behalf. Then again, when have you ever seen a spoiled child give up a toy willingly?