Opinion: Insurance and Employment In The United States

At one time having a job meant that a US citizen had insurance coverage. That was before the recession. Today businesses are cutting any extra cost that they can. That includes offering their workers medical coverage.
The American working class’s tax dollar pays for government health programs. Sadly they don’t always benefit when it comes to coverage for themselves and their families. To get federal medical insurance an individual has to either work for the government or be ‘poor enough.’ If one is working they have eased out of the poor enough equation.

A study for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that almost 1 out of every 5 workers have no insurance. Chances are their children are insured, nearly 90 percent of American children have one form of insurance. They also don’t have to worry about their elderly parents since if their parents worked at all they are covered. The workers only have to worry about their own medical needs.

It all comes down to cost. Employers are just making ends met and insurance companies are upping their fees. Premiums for employer plans have risen six to eight times faster than raises.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

“The thing I think is interesting is how many workers are newly uninsured,” said Lynn Blewett, director of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota, which conducted the research. “In the last couple of years we’ve seen a deterioration of private health insurance.”

Instead of being able to pay for their own insurance American workers are paying to cover others with their tax dollars. Medicare is supported by payroll taxes. The poor and children get their doctor visits covered by Medicaid or state insurance programs. Those are funded by the tax dollars coming out of each and every pay check.

Ten years ago eight states had twenty percent of their working population facing life without medical coverage. Today that is the figure in fourteen states; Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas.

Boston.com reports:

“I don’t think we can delay action beyond this year,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which sponsored the study and provides extensive financing for health care research. “It’s clear that we are at the brink.”

The Obama administration is already having to scramble to get support from the government to overhaul health care during the hard times of this recession. The estimated cost to do so is about $1.5 trillion dollars over a ten year period. The ones that will have to make the decision though don’t have the worry of insurance for their families.

They are in the government and have health insurance because of that.

Guess who helps cover the cost of their doctor pit stops?

That’s right America, the working class who can’t afford to go to the doctor themselves.


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