When I was discharged from the military I worked a brief stint at a popular coffee company as a Supervisor. We’ll leave it at that, shall we? I ended up quitting because despite begging and pleading I could not get off of the opening shift, which required me to get up at about 0245, and that fucked with my sleep schedule beyond belief. That lead to a lot of pain issues that I don’t need to get into right now…the manager was not understanding of my needs.
Had I not been on my TA 180 benefits from the military (180 days of benefits to allow me to transition to civilian life after a medical discharge) I might have paid more attention to the insurance options available to me through not only the company, but through the State of Hawai’i.
Hawai’i does this awesome thing (IMNSFHO, and you are welcome to disagree with me), that employers are required to offer health insurance to anyone working 20 hours or more per week. Everyone who works gets insured, whether it is through the employer itself or through Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i. I am not intimate with how the breakdown of money works out, but it is incredible to know that you can do things like go to college full time, work 20 hours a week, and not have to worry what will happen to you if you get sick or injured. The flip side of that coin is that you must enroll in a plan. I remember getting a notice informing me that if I was required to enroll in one plan or the other, and if I refused coverage I had to provide proof of coverage by another insurer (which at the time, and still is, TRICARE).
The linked article is correct (thanks, Wonder), there is a lot that lawmakers on the Mainland could learn from the Hawai’ian system. There is a lot to be said for this type of system, that a person receives health care as part of their benefits package through work, and that is reasonable. There is also a lot to be said for some small businesses who might be burdened with having to pay for it, but there should be oversight on that threshold, and it should be reasonable for everyone involved. This, however, is why I am a huge fan of adding the public option and making health care a right for humans everywhere, and not a privilege of the rich and powerful. A public option would allow people to choose a government plan rather than an employer plan…or possibly eliminate the need for those small businesses to have to provide one…
There is a lot I don’t understand economically about small businesses, but I do know that health care is expensive in the system we have now, and that there is a lot of misinformation being spread around out there that is meant to scare us from embracing the idea of Health Care Reform and the Public Option. I encourage you to not believe everything talking heads tell you, and read some facts for yourself. Even if we passed the Health Care Reform Act the way it is being introduced now, we have a lot of catching up to do before it is nearly as good as the Hawai’ian system.
Health Care is a human right…or at least it should be if we valued lives over dollars, and people over corporations.