If a rising tides lifts all boats, then a sinking tide lowers them.

The folly of a nation providing healthcare coverage for its citizens through an employer based system is really being exposed, especially in our current economy.

In America, you get your coverage from your job, which is fine if you like your job and the economy is good. It sucks if you hate your job but can't leave because of your 'benefits'. It also sucks if the economy is in the toilet and millions of people are being laid off left and right and the unemployment rate is skyrocketing.

In America, when you get laid off (as I did earlier this year), as a nice parting gift you not only lose your income, but you lose your healthcare coverage. Ask people from other countries what they feel about this and they are horrified. It's the epitome of kicking someone when they're down. But wait! There's more!

In our magnanimous system, once you're laid off you can purchase COBRA health insurance, at the low low rate of about 4 times what you WERE paying...you know, back when you had an income (wtf?!) The logic of this is along the same lines as having to pay to file bankruptcy.

Yet here in America, our conservative friends just love our system so much. They would be horrified if we moved to a more "socialistic" system. We don't want to be like France or Denmark or any of those pansy European countries. (As a side note, America healthcare ranks 37th, while France is #1)

But wait, there's more! Republicans always like to pat themselves on the back because they are pro-business. They just love to make our economy competitive by fighting for lower corporate tax rates for businesses that make absurd amounts of money. And yet they support our screwed up employer-based system, which literally handicaps American businesses which must pay enormous amounts to cover the healthcare costs of their employees, while we expect them to compete with global corporations which don't have to have such a huge item in their budgets. It's like when it comes to American companies, they are tying one of our hands behind our backs and still expecting us to be competitive in the global marketplace. sheesh.

Here is a map which shows what happens to healthcare coverage during a near-depression when it's provided through employers:


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