Friday, January 30, 2009

Mr. Obama: About That Health Care Promise


Now that I have joined the millions of other unemployed Americans, I wonder if I will be able to keep my health insurance. My COBRA premium (including dental and vision) is over $420 a month. It will take about two weeks of unemployment benefits (after taxes) to pay that premium. That will not leave me anywhere near enough to pay my mortgage, let alone pay utility bills and eat. I do have a roommate who does pay his rent on time, so thank the heavens for that. But, it is still going to be an uphill struggle.

It was timely that Paul Krugman, in a NY Times Op-Ed, asked the question yesterday:
Why has the Obama administration been silent, at least so far, about one of President Obama’s key promises during last year’s campaign — the promise of guaranteed health care for all Americans?
...
There’s a populist rage building in this country, as Americans see bankers getting huge bailouts while ordinary citizens suffer. [NY Times]
Rage is a good term...maybe a desperate rage is better. Those of us who are unemployed keep hearing the unrelenting tide of announcements of thousands of jobs lost every day. It makes us all more desperate, wondering if we will have a job in a month...in a year. We also read about government aid to banks and financial institutions that then give huge bonuses to their executives and brokers. Yes, I feel the rage.

With only me to look out for me, I wonder when the government is going to offer me a bailout. After all, part of that aid money is mine that I paid in taxes when I was working. When is help coming to me to pay that huge COBRA premium so I stay insured now in my 60s?

And, when are the unemployed going to be given enough help so they don't lose their homes? As I previously posted, Bank of America will not allow me to refinance my mortgage because I am not working. Banking clause: Catch-22.

I'm hoping some government aid or program related to refinancing comes out of Washington soon for which I can qualify. A friend, who is a former realtor, suggested I look into getting a "low document" loan. I have never heard of this before and will have to do some research. This initial link, however, indicates they are hard to come by now because of the economy. Anyway, it is worth a shot. All they can tell me is "no." How many times will I hear that as the weeks and months roll on?

Now is not the time for Obama to wait on health care. Bill Clinton made the mistake of waiting, and we know how well that worked out for us. Please President Obama, don't wait. We need universal health care now. If the Republicans won't go along, well, fuck them. We voted for you.
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