Once upon a time (50-60 years ago), health insurance, was, if not free, affordable to most people who wanted it. This was true even though most American people didn't work in corporations then.
But then, large companies started provided ever-more generous health benefits to compensate workers, while minimizing the accounting impact on their income statements. (The practice originated in World War II, when wages were frozen, but health packages weren't.) In many cases, the health care benefits were for workers' retirement years, which meant that they served as a supplemental pension. Other clauses included provisions for adult dependents.
They also worked like a "time bomb" that would "explode" after present management had left the company. Chief among these were labor-intensive operations like automakers GM, Chrysler, and Ford. (The steel companies were also in this category.)
This was all fine and dandy if you worked for one of the larger corporations that could "spread out" the huge fixed costs of burgeoning health insurance programs (or were a retiree from such a company), and "pretend" that it all didn't matter. It's not so good if you are a student, part time worker, or self-employed person that can't shoulder such burdens, which is why health insurance is now unaffordable to millions of Americans.
Get this: Lower-income American taxpayers are unable to afford health insurance because they will be paying taxes to support the bailouts of GM, Chrysler, and the banks. But a large part of the reason that these companies are in trouble is because of the health benefits they had promised THEIR workers in their retirements, that now can't be "clawed back" without major upheaval.
When it comes to health care "affordablility,&... not even a matter of whether you are a member of labor or manangement, but rather of WHOSE labor or management you're a member of.