Christie, that was an interesting read, thanks for making that comparison/analysis.
I don't have health insurance--haven't since I left my last job over a year ago. The small office where I work doesn't offer it, and since I don't make much money, it's not something I can afford to keep up on my own. This is common all over the U.S., obviously, but I think it has a particular impact in rural regions such as where I live, where there aren't a lot of big industries/companies operating with a lot of resources at their disposal. I know many, many people around here who work full-time and beyond who don't get insurance through work, and who can't afford it on their own.
The job market being what it is here, if I were to hold out for a job with benefits I'd basically have to wait until everyone already in those positions retires or dies off. :p
Most of that, I can accept. It was my choice to move back to this area, when I was making my decisions I understood the economic implications of living in an area like this and despite that, when I weighed my options this still won out. Still does. :) And I know getting insurance through one's workplace isn't a right, it's a privilege, so I don't resent the fact that my employer doesn't do so.
What I find maddening is that despite the fact that I work full-time and pay an assload in taxes considering how little money I make (over 1/4 of each of my paychecks goes to state/federal taxes, which seems like a lot to me particularly after moving back from Montana), if I wanted to apply for the state-run insurance plan I would, disturbingly
, be at too high of an income bracket to qualify. So I can't afford insurance on my own, I couldn't qualify for public aid if I wanted it...and yet, I can pay out 1/4 of each paycheck to support everybody else. And to me, that seems fucked-up.
As with a lot of things in the US, it seems that over there healthcare is world-leading if you're rich, and non-existant if you're not.
I have to say, I think there's a lot of truth to that. I wish it wasn't that way, but I think it's getting more & more like that all the time. Something's gotta give.