I have a good friend who is in an unfortunate situation. It involves the health care dilemma in America. She is an example of what many people are going through and I asked her permission to share her story. She said I could.
My friend and her husband have two children. He works two part-time jobs, more hours than a full-time job, but has no access to health insurance through either employer. She was employed for a health care clinic, and they offered health care to her, but not her family. Because my friend has a history of health issues, she of course purchased a plan through her employer for herself. They were working hard to make ends meet.
Six weeks ago, she got injured. She fell and broke her ankle. She had to have surgery to repair it, and it included seven pins and a plate to put it back together. Her husband did the best he could to pick up extra hours to cover the difference, but it's obviously been very difficult. During her medical leave (unpaid), she was laid off. Not only does she now have no prospect for income in the near future, she also lost her health insurance.
The State of Minnesota is currently paying 60% of Cobra for nine months if you lose your job. She and her husband are going to be able to cover the expense of Cobra for those nine months then, but have no idea what they'll do beyond that. She is not yet in good enough health to find another job, and isn't sure when they will be.
Here you have a hard-working family who cannot afford to buy private insurance for themselves. It's not because they're lazy (which seems to be the code word for anyone who would benefit from a government option) or want someone to just hand it to them.
My opinion always has been that we should have a government program, with affordable premiums, available to all Americans so that people like my friend and her family do not have to go without health insurance. I cannot even imagine what would happen if something else happened to any of them!
For those of you who oppose a plan like this, what do you suggest? They are not alone. If you look around, you'll find countless people who do not have access to health insurance through their employer.
I'm just so sad that the proposed plans are weak. That they're really not going to help anyone in this tough time. I'm sad that we're not taking care of each other.
It's been awhile since we talked about this. Anyone up for a discussion? (As always, anonymous comments are not allowed.)