How The Patient Protection Act Protects Jobs And Not Just Your Health

stressedemployee.jpgShould your ability to obtain and/or maintain your health insurance coverage be tied to whether or not you have a job? What happens if you’re sick, in the middle of treatment (maybe for a long-term medical issue such as diabetes or high blood pressure), and you’re handed the pink slip? Can you afford the inflated price of COBRA, which is based on the plan your employer chose for you and not what you might choose for yourself if you had the option? Will you have to go uninsured—and possibly even unmedicated—until you find another job?

Millions of Americans have faced these problems every single day for decades … until the passage of President Obama’s and the Democrats’ health care reform legislation; The Patient Protection and Affordable Care act. With this new law in place, employees are no longer restricted by the uncertainty of long-term employment for how they’ll manage their health care if their job goes belly up.

And do you know what that makes the Patient Protection Act, in addition to being about health care reform?

A bill about jobs!

How is The Patient Protection Act about jobs? Great question! And answered in part by Richard Kirsch in his recent column, “ObamaCare Isn't Just About Health Care – It's a Winning Jobs Issue”:

 

Massachusetts is the only state in the country where you don’t have to worry about losing your health insurance if you lose your job, and it will remain that way if Mitt Romney, the man who signed that Massachusetts bill into law, gets elected president. But if President Obama beats him, every state in the Union will join Massachusetts in 2014.

Many of the independent voters who will determine the presidential election are confused by the Affordable Care Act, as its passage has [seemed to offer] no relief for a major worry in their lives: if they lose their job, they’ll lose their health insurance. Or maybe they’ve already been forced to take a job without health insurance, or are self-employed or out of work. …

 

Other swing voters might like to leave their jobs and start a small business, but they are locked into their current jobs until they reach 65 and qualify for Medicare. All that will change in 2014 if they vote for President Obama – which they might be more likely to do if they knew that [most Americans] will qualify for heavily subsidized private health insurance through the new health insurance marketplaces (exchanges) that will be set up in each state [like they currently are in only Massachusetts].

Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act you no longer have to stay in a job you hate for fear of losing your health insurance, or turn down a job offer you might love just because health insurance isn’t offered as a benefit. You can start your own business without fear of getting sick or in an accident before you become profitable.

There was a time in our nation’s history that having employers provide health insurance coverage to their employees was a win/win. Businesses could be more competitive in attracting qualified workers, and employees got the benefit of lower rates due to being part of a larger group of insureds. And while that model worked well for decades, it’s been even more decades since it hasn’t worked well at all.

Even Conservative political activist David Frum supports the unhinging of health insurance from employment. In his column, “Wanted: A More Radical Plan to Reduce Unemployment“ at The Daily Beast, Frum writes:

Here's a short library of research on the idea [of job-sharing], which is provided for in the law of 21 states, but which has never gotten off the ground in this country—in large part because of the problem of sharing health-insurance coverage. (Another demerit of the American system of employer-based coverage.)

Democrats must continue to make the case for the improvements for health and economic security as a result of the PPA, even as the Republicans continue to campaign for “repeal and replace,” without any plans—or intentions—to replace. As Kirsch says in closing, “A vote for Obama and Democrats will mean that, come 2014, Americans will finally have the security that – job or not – they will have health coverage for themselves and their families.” Isn’t that a more moral choice for the country we believe in?

Now read about The Anti-Family Effects Of Austerity »

 

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published this page in Healthcare & Patient Protection 2012-06-01 15:23:00 -0700