The Double-Whammy: Uninsured and Unemployed

Because mine and my family's health insurance was at one time provided through my then-employer (as is the case with two-thirds of all Americans), we lost our health insurance the same day I lost my job. (Don't get me started about the injustice of cutting off an employee's health insurance at 5 PM the same day you boot them out the company's door.)

Unlike many Americans, my family was lucky. My husband had managed to convert his contract position into a traditional job days before I got the axe. Because he was in the process of enrolling in the organization's insurance plan, he was able to have our daughter and I immediately covered by his plan. Had that not been the case, we would have faced premiums of $2,000 A MONTH to retain our previous coverage.

So, it comes to no surprise to anyone who's been following the economy and the U.S. health care crisis that this year's devastating job losses have likely increased the ranks of the uninsured by 4 million people. This number according to a new study by Families USA, a Washington, D.C., organization that advocates for consumer health care improvements.
"People who receive a pink slip experience a double whammy. They not only lose their jobs,  but they usually lose their  health coverage as
 well. That's why health reform is so important."

- Ron Pollack, Families USA executive director

The bottom line? If companies can continue to behave so badly, eliminating workers' access to affordable health care with the flick of a termination letter, they must be required to join with the government to finance a public health care option for those they so thoughtlessly discard.

To access Families USA's report, click here.

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