Millions of unemployed added to ranks of uninsured
As we all await the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA), the number of uninsured working people continues to increase. A recent Gallup poll shows that 17.1 percent of U.S. residents lacked health insurance in 2011 compared with 14.8 percent in 2008. Millions of U.S. workers have lost their jobs and, with their job loss, lost their health insurance.
Workers who have managed to keep their jobs in the current depression still have a tough time maintaining their health insurance. Between 1999 and 2008, family health insurance rose 119 percent — far outstripping wage increases in the same period. Part-time workers, whose ranks also are increasing, are even less able to afford health care insurance. Latino workers fare the worst, as many are unjustly victimized because of their undocumented status.
The ACA is not a solution to this country’s healthcare crisis. We need single-payer, national health insurance program that covers everyone in the country. I’ll continue to argue for that solution no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decides. I hope you do the same.