Labor historians like to point to "The Company Store" as an example of institutionalized abuse of labor.
In this arrangement, workers would be paid in script that is only good at the company store. In some cases the company store would establish lines of credit for the worker.
The idea of a company store sounds wonderful at first. Imagine if all the people working for a company pooled together their resources, they should be able to buy more goods at a lower price.
In practice "The Company Store" provide to be rife with abuse. Since The Company Store had a captured market, they did not compete on price or value with the merchants on the open market.
In the worst cases, workers became indebted to the company store and were reduced to the status of indentured servant.
Employer based health care has revived the concept of The Company Store for health care.
Obama's PPACA is a program that mandates by law that you be forced to buy your health care from a Company Store like arrangement.
Democrats wave Mao's Little Red Book and promise a socialist paradise if we just nationalized The Company Store and had people indentured to the nation/state.
Why are we repeating the failed model of The Company Store in health care?
If any one would like to talk alternatives, I am at the ready. Here is my Contact Form.