If you have insurance with your employer, I’m happy for you. Just don’t lose that job. Then, you will really see the true cost of insurance premiums when your employer is no longer kicking in their share. Why this is connected to employers is also an unfair matter. I’m sure it got started as a benefit to attract workers, but even that took an unfair turn until legislation stepped in to correct practices by employers when offering special insurance programs for key fulltime employees and not the rest of the fulltime workers. When employers started feeling that heat, their solution to get around that was to shift to hiring more part-time workers. Workers that they didn’t have to cover.
Health insurance should not be an entitlement only for the employed, or the burden solely on the backs of employers. It should be an opportunity available to all regardless of job status. While mandates will be perceived as an unwelcome intrusion of our personal freedoms, it’s the only way this will work. Waiting till you need health care to pay into the system will not make premiums more affordable. And, if we are to expect insurance companies to swallow reform, a mandatory component is necessary.
For as long as I can remember, healthcare reform has been kicked around and there never seems to a time when we can afford it. Certainly, as in any debate, those opposed are making some pretty outrageous and horrific statements to influence so many that are really not up to speed on the issue, or are comfortable with the status quo. If you are opposed because you think the cost of healthcare will add increased taxes associated with passing reform, just think of what it will cost you if it doesn’t pass. Surely, no one will be able to afford it and so many facets of the economy will suffer.
What ever happens today, I’m happy to live in Massachusetts, where everyone has access and choices in their healthcare. It might not be perfect; the growing pains are being felt by employers and individuals alike, but the playing field is fairer, it’s light years ahead of the rest of the country, and it truly provides justice for all.
Update: Finally, after a long day and into the late night back east, Heathcare Reform has passed, giving all those bad practices the boot..... I think once the nay sayers realize the true benefits and protections, they too will be glad healthcare reform is in place.