When the last two nights of Democratic debates got into health care, those who argued for keeping work-based health insurance as something people love must be talking about people on some other planet.
One joker up there kept talking about Medicare for All as making work-based insurance illegal.
In 2003 we were bargaining a contract in our school district. We had come to tentative agreement on all the issues except for how much the district would pay and how much the employee would pay for coverage.
This was an issue we had to bargain every contract and it was harder than bargaining actual salary because we had no control over what the insurance companies would charge the district and, like most school districts in the state, we were a small group. One major claim and the cost would skyrocket.
We were able to agree that employees would be covered as part of the overall compensation package. But the cost of family coverage, which was needed by roughly 40% of the employees, would be paid for by the employee, not the district.
Even in 2003 it was an astronomical dollar amount.
I recall one board meeting where a male teacher with a wife and kids at home brought in copies of his pay stub with the family health insurance deduction and distributed copies to the board and others in the audience.
It was a dramatic moment and a shocker.
When the so-called moderate Democrats try to scare people with lines like “increased taxes on the middle class,” what the hell do they think that charge for family coverage is other than a tax by another name?
By the way, the fight over that wonderful work-based health insurance led to our first strike in 25 years.
The strike ended after a week with an agreement that reduced employee costs for family coverage by 25%.
Within a couple of years we were right back up there again.
Who doesn’t love a system like that?