“No Job, No Insurance, No Health Care” isn’t just a title for a New York Times Editorial. It’s a fact of life for tens of millions of Americans who want to work and provide for their families, but have been unable to do so since the financial meltdown of 2008.
The grinding, debilitating and depressing consequences of unemployment continue unabated throughout the country, as The Commonwealth Fund’s latest survey (discussed in the editorial) confirms yet again:
“An analysis of the data found that nine million working-age adults who lost their jobs between 2008 and 2010 became uninsured. Most of those could not find affordable coverage from insurance companies, and some were turned down when they applied.
“Of that number, nearly three-quarters delayed needed care because of the cost. They were sick but did not visit a doctor, or chose not to fill a prescription, or skipped a recommended test, treatment or visit to a specialist.
“Nearly three-quarters had problems paying medical bills when they did visit a doctor or a hospital. They used up their savings, struggled to pay medical debts over time, took out loans when they could, declared bankruptcy or ended up unable to pay for other basic necessities like food or housing.”
That is simply unacceptable in America, yet it is the reality facing so many of our neighbors everyday. It is unremarked upon. It is not part of the national discussion. It is not a political priority. That is a national tragedy and not just for those suffering, but also for our country and our moral core.