Employer-based health insurance when there is a historic level of unemployment.


Donald Trump and some Republican states will argue their case before the Supreme Court against the Affordable Care Act this summer.

Many models predict a spike in COVID19 cases at about the same time as those arguments are being made.

It is very possible that a Trump dominated Court will rule against ACA.

But Joe Biden, if elected, has promised to veto Medicare for All.

Biden went after Bernie’s health insurance proposals based on cost during the campaign.

His cost claims look even more ridiculous given the current costs of dealing with the virus.

Targeting Sanders during the Democratic primary, union leaders such as the AFT’s Randi Weingarten and the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka defended employer-provided health insurance and opposed Bernie on government health care.

They sure do look stupid now as millions of workers lose their jobs and their health insurance.

The staggering economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic reveals holes in ACA that you could drive a truck through.

There are thirty million people uninsured and at least 44 million who are underinsured because of unaffordable deductibles and copayments.

This morning brings news that nearly three million more people filed unemployment claims last week bringing the total COVID job losses to nearly 37 million. It adds to the 33 million who filed for aid in the previous seven weeks.

If we had real national health care,  the next time we face a public health crisis it would mean everyone has health coverage and that illness will not be compounded by personal financial catastrophe because of health care costs.

But Trump’s doubling down on getting rid of ACA is driven by one thing: profits.

The rich will likely receive billions in tax cuts if the health-care law is overturned, according to a November analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

But we need Medicare for All now more than ever.

7 thoughts on “Employer-based health insurance when there is a historic level of unemployment.

  1. Agreed, Fred. We need Medicare For All, yet Nancy Pelosi’s latest proposal calls for subsidizing COBRA premiums. How will unemployed people pay for those $7,000 deductibles and co-pays.

    And here’s civil rights incon Jim Clyburn shutting down paycheck protection as well, from Common Dreams: ‘Why Democrats Lose Elections’: Clyburn Admits Paycheck Guarantee Best Way to Save Jobs—But Says It Costs Too Much”


  2. This reminds me of Fred’s frequent statement that everybody “needs and deserves” a teacher-type pension and lifetime health care. “We” can’t afford it. Not even the “top 10%” can pay taxes that would enable “us” to afford it. Who would buy all of the non-liquid wealth of these “haves” to create the cash to pay the bills? Approaching it incrementally would simply create a new division between haves and have-nots. Even Social Security and Medicare are approaching insolvency.

    There’s nothing wrong with aspirational exhortation — and perhaps that’s all you’re doing. I admire MLK for his “dream.” I might support moving everyone to a kibbutz where the able take care of the weak and everyone’s resources are combined. However, it reminds me of the Cultural Revolution.

    If I’m wrong on the facts about affordability, show me the data. How about opening up a window of debate to explore what is possible that might gain some adherents?

      1. Your response only addressed UBI which makes sense to me.

        I’m referring to national health care. (That would presumably displace your retired teacher health care, no?”) And I’m also referring to pensions beginning in your 50s. The cost data I have seen on those items points to lack of “affordability” whatever income and wealth tax levels one might propose.

      2. A return to the pre-Reagan tax for the wealthy would pay for all of this. In 1944 the top level marginal tax rate was 94%. In the post-pandemic economy this seems about right.

  3. Cost and revenue data? For Illinois or nationwide? Illinois and Chicago are basically insolvent now, living off bond proceeds when the markets will buy their paper. Hasn’t Biden refused or failed to support Bernie’s Medicare for All based on estimated costs? No doubt pharma and insurance companies and merged health care oligopolies and prescribing doctors and pathology labs are ripping off the current system. So a big-foot program like Medicare for All might be able to push back on costs. But the current system has its stakeholders and its lawyers and its publicists. This type of reform might work state-by-state, particularly in Illinois where Democrats control all three branches of government. Government “of, by and for the people.” I haven’t checked back recently to see how Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts is working. Were there a chance to get Bernie back on the Ballot, 2020 might provide a chance to see if any of this has traction among the voters. Even if he didn’t win, we could identify states where there is strong support for mega-reform.

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