“The ranks of the uninsured are swelling!” the radio, TV, the Web and newspapers are shrieking today. Many are shocked that the number of uninsured increased to over 50 million last year, according to a Census Bureau report released yesterday.
But it shouldn’t be a total shock. Millions of people are unemployed and have lost their employer-sponsored coverage. It’s not like regular people living on a $300 unemployment check can afford $1,000-plus a month to buy coverage for themselves and their families.
And affording COBRA — the program that lets people buy into their old coverage at a hefty cost — is out of the reach of many who don’t have jobs. It was a bit more affordable thanks to discounts from the federal government, but those have expired for the recently jobless.
Where is the safety net for hard working Americans? There is a pretty frayed one when it comes to coverage for medical care. And things are only getting worse this year. (more…)