Woman & Doctor


I’m lucky.  I have good health insurance provided by my employer.  Although I sometimes complain about payroll deductions, co-pays and out of pocket expenses, I realize how fortunate I am.

If you work for a small company or, God forbid, you have no job at all, you’re totally out of luck.  If not for the Affordable Care Act, you would be on your own.  Those among us who can least afford it would have to pay the outrageous cost of private insurance.  What would happen if our legislators or the Supreme Court overturned the ACA?  According to the CBO, the number of uninsured American in 2020 was around 31 million and expected to increase significantly. With unemployment as high as it is, there would be millions more uninsured people.

I have a family member battling cancer.  The cost of her care is astronomical – but she is covered by her husband’s employer provided insurance.  If she and her husband were unemployed, would I be watching her die?   Why is her life tied to her husband’s employment? 

In the early 1900s, most Americans paid their own medical costs.  If they could afford it, they purchased their own private health insurance.  During World War II, inflation was on the rise.  The 1942 Stabilization Act, which was meant to combat inflation, limited employers' ability to raise wages.  This meant employers could not offer higher salaries to attract employees.  Employers began to offer pre-tax health benefits instead.  Suddenly, employers were in the business of providing health insurance and the modern era of employer-sponsored health insurance began.  Now, employer-based health benefits are the most common form of health coverage.  In 2017 approximately 167 million people under 65 received employment-based healthcare

In 2021, through no fault of their own, many of our fellow citizens are unemployed and don’t have employer-sponsored health insurance.  What are they supposed to do when they get sick?  The ACA allows employed people to keep their employer provided health care but provides a safety net for the unemployed.  Let’s support legislation that tightens the safety net, so the unemployed don’t fall through it!