Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz says the coffee chain now pays almost as much for employee health care as it does for coffee beans, so the company long-known for its generous health benefits will begin passing more of those costs to employees.
The news from Starbucks comes amid skyrocketing U.S. health-care costs that are forcing American companies large and small to hike employee health-care contributions, cut back on coverage, or eliminate it altogether.
U.S. health care spending consumes 16 percent of GDP, about $2.2 trillion a year, and is projected to rise to 25 percent of GDP by 2025. But while the U.S. spends more than any other country on health care, its residents aren't among the world's healthiest. Some 46 million Americans are uninsured.
President Barack Obama says a broad health care overhaul is critical to a U.S. economic recovery. Congress is not expected to pass any reforms until after Labor Day.
Remember all this next time you consider putting coin in the tip jar at Starbucks.