Kellia’s World – Recommended Reading

Challenging the assumptions we live by — Because I want to.

Laid-Off Workers Struggle to Pay for Health Insurance

Posted by kelliasworld on January 26, 2009

The United States began the New Year with 11.1 million people unemployed. In December alone, construction companies slashed 101,000 jobs, manufacturers axed 149,000, and professional and business services issued 113,000 pink slipped.  A report issued by a group advocating for health care consumers says the unemployed are finding it extremely difficult to pay health insurance premiums with their paltry unemployment benefits and alternatives are inadequate or non-existent.

Audio news story:

cobra-bites

The “health insurance through employment” system was devised during WWII. During a wartime wage and price freeze,  businesses were allowed to compete for employees by offering fringe benefits. It worked under the conditions of the time.

But now we see that the system is seriously flawed. Everyone needs health care at some point. Why should one’s access depend on whether other not one has a job with enough hours at a big enough company? Why should businesses bear the cost (including the administrative costs) of health care? Why should insurance companies be allowed to profit from people’s health needs and be allowed to “cherry pick” the healthiest of us to pay premiums to line their pockets, while ignoring the sick?

Universal single-payer health care is the only way to handle the issue fairly for consumers and for businesses. The United States is the only industrialized nation to not have it. Here it is decried as “socialized medicine.” We hear arguments  about waiting times under national health programs in other countries; the propaganda in this country is that “socialized medicine” is inefficient. But I am sure you or someone you know has dealt with unacceptable wait times. We have the most expensive health care in the world and millions who can’t access it, or who go bankrupt trying to do so. This is efficient?

Just what is wrong with “socialized” medicine? We have socialized police and fire protection. The very politicians who decry “socialized medicine” don’t seem to mind the bloated budget and inefficiences of the “defense” system we all pay for! Why should we have to be profitable to someone (or married to or the minor child of someone who is) before we can get health care?

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