More blogging in hard times.

Posted by admin
Jul 10 2006

Last week, I wrote on the challenges Michelle and I have faced in the past year. As usual, instead of thoughtfully considering my personal musings, some right-wingers concluded that I was simply whining and should go find some Prozac. Personally, I think they didn’t care to listen to what I had to say about life in north Minneapolis. Heck, I suspect that these are the same people who didn’t hear Scott Ritter, Hans Blix, David Kay and Charles Duelfer tell the world that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction before, during and since the American invasion of Iraq because they went deaf beating their war drums, but I digress. I wish ours was simply an isolated phenomenon or simply a streak of personal bad luck, but it isn’t.

Let’s take a brief look at something basic that is affecting people’s lives lately: health care.

I have friends and family who are currently experiencing acute job insecurity or were recently unemployed. Some are teachers either entering the field or trying to stay in the field. Others work, or worked, in jobs that were either near the top of the corporate food chain or the bottom. Those who have lost their jobs that had health benefits are now struggling. Many of us are familiar with COBRA, which is supposed to give people the option to keep their health insurance after leaving a job, but for many people, the loss of the job is the loss of the health benefits, because paying the premiums under COBRA is simply not possible.

For all the (in my opinion, quite dubious) arguments against a single-payer, universal system of health care, critics cannot argue against the fact that, at the very least, people would have coverage regardless of their employment status or economic class. As an added benefit, we wouldn’t have to read stories about how CEOs of HMOs have received huge salaries and bonuses — which I suspect are a small part of the reason for our spiraling premiums and diminishing coverage year after year — or see statistics that show that most personal bankruptcies are caused by a personal health crisis that incurs a huge, unavoidable medical bill.

The last thing people need is to have their personal lives thrown into disarray when they are uprooted from their working lives.

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