A reader writes:
In regards to this reader's friend who doesn't understand why he should care about healthcare without a job, I think this represents in a nutshell the real failure of messaging of which the White House and the Congressional Democrats are guilty. In a country in which healthcare costs are rising rapidly, especially in the individual insurance market and in terms of costs passed on to the uninsured (and through them, via emergency rooms, the taxpayers) and healthcare is traditionally tied to unemployment, it is precisely someone without a job who should be concerned about healthcare.
Yes, obviously he should be concerned about getting a job. But the idea that someone who in unemployed would not give "two shits" about healthcare is somewhat astounding given that he is the precise target of many of the benefits in the healthcare bill - benefits that once COBRA runs out he would be very, very happy to have if he or a loved one gets sick. This is a point that needs to be made - and made loudly: unemployment doesn't just mean you don't have a job; it means you are thrown back on our national safety net. And the healthcare bill is intended to increase that safety net.
What a wonderful sentiment. Let's all abandon improving the situation in this country because we want to stomp our feet and pout. And whatever you do, do not piece together the fact that our healthcare problems are big obstacle to employers adding employees to their payrolls. Or consider the fact that he or she should still have access to coverage despite being unemployed. This could just as easily have been posted under Big-Babyism as it could have under View from the Recession.