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Opinion: Health care system tied to employer falls short
09282017 HEALTH CARE

I believe the pandemic has shown the nation that our health care system has some flaws. One of my concerns is health insurance. In this nation, many people have their medical insurance through their employers and if they lose their jobs, they lose their health care. 

There is COBRA. “The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a health insurance program that allows eligible employees and their dependents the continued benefits of health insurance coverage when an employee loses their job or experiences a reduction of work hours.” But, if someone loses a job, they often cannot pay the premiums on the insurance and lose their coverage anyway. 

Right now, there are about 20 million people who have been laid off and with it medical insurance will end for many, if not most. 

If this nation had national health care paid through taxes, they would keep their coverage, even if they lost a job. There is another point. Many people remain with an employer because they cannot afford to lose insurance. If we had national coverage, workers could switch jobs and keep their coverage. 

I'm 76 years old and on Medicare, plus I purchase supplemental coverage. In fact, what I have, is national health care insurance that is strengthened with purchased additional insurance.  Medicare provides health insurance to meet most needs and it at least ensures that those on Social Security have a minimum base of care that they cannot fall below.

I do not understand why we cannot insure the entire nation with taxes.

Jimmy O'Neill


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