Health reform continues to dominate the news headlines as Obama pushes Congress toward a final vote. Republicans and Democrats are accusing the other side of impeding the process, but as Obama said in a speech last week, it’s not all bad: “Where both sides say they agree is that the status quo is not working for the American people.”
I believe that portability is a solution that both parties can come together on. Congress has said that reform should let people keep their benefits even when they lose or change jobs. Freelancers Union has always championed this need, and leading up to the recent health care summit, I wrote an op-ed on what portability means for politicians and for Americans. In our new economy—with 42 million independent workers and counting—having affordable, portable insurance options is critical.
Today, the only way for independent workers to get that kind of coverage is on the individual market, where plans often cost 300% of a traditional employee’s. How can we bring down costs and expand coverage to millions of Americans? In our political climate, it’s clear that we must get there at least in part by using the private market—so let’s update the rules and enable new groups to deliver insurance plans to those of us who need them. I have some ideas on how we can do it—after all, Freelancers Union and FIC have been paving the way.
So let me say this about that: we can make the private market work for us. Read more of the recipe for a portability solution in the NY Daily News op-ed, then call your Congresspersons and ask them to bring reform that’ll work for the new workforce.
(Wondering why I Say This About That? It's a habit of speech of mine, as my colleagues have pointed out, and which I seem to have adopted from JFK via Vaughn Meader.)
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aidan_jones/ / CC BY-SA 2.0