Monday, August 3, 2009

#137 Health Care and Employment ... or Not

Following up on the unholy alliance of Employment and Health-Care, mentioned briefly in last post, well ... it's a problem. Isn't proper and permanent health care for you and your family really far too important to trust to a JOB? The Great Recession has taught us some hard lessons lately about the vagaries of gainful employment when the Economy takes a dump. People get dumped. And employer-sponsored health insurance gets flushed down the crapper with them. And it seems that, paradoxically, while the economic outlook is improving, employment will be down in the dumps till the last. A feculent situation all around.

Again, the Newly-Unemployed are now faced with the expensive and only-temporary COBRA, or no insurance at all. Job-seeking will be compromised by the onus of "benefits." The new job may or may not have "group." If yes: waiting period. Pre-existing conditions. Different levels of coverage. Loopholes. Far too much INSECURITY for mortal men and women to bear. And completely unnecessary.

A personal story: My ex-girl-(still-a)-friend has/is currently undergoing this kind of Nazi torture. She has several chronic health issues that CAN become life-threatening IF not treated with regular preventative care. Two act drama: When (#1) she changed jobs for the better last year, of undue yet paramount importance were the health-care benefits offered by her new employer. She had to endure the "exclusionary" period, etc., etc. Then this year (#2) she was laid off. Great Recession fall-out. Now she is paying a hefty share of her unemployment check to COBRA--no choice here--which will eventually run-out, along with the unemployment compensation which was needed to pay for it in the first place. Then what?

This simply must not be allowed happen to a good, tax-paying American citizen. And others like her, rich or poor. Health-care security must not be attached to job security--or to the profit-driven insurance industry that willy-nilly goes along with it. Single-Payer is best, but at the very least: Public-Option. Moral imperative: Everyone in this country must be covered from cradle to grave, regardless of means or circumstance, and that includes employment ... or not.

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