It turns out that every penny they earn still isn't enough to keep body and soul together. The Los Angeles Times tells us that the cost of health insurance for a family of four now exceeds the income of a full-time minimum wage worker.
The study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research Educational Trust, published each fall before open enrollment season begins, is considered the definitive survey of what coverage will cost workers.
This year the survey found that average annual premiums for family coverage grew more than 9% since last year to $10,880. A minimum wage worker earns $10,712 before taxes.
"What we are seeing is an unraveling of the way we finance healthcare in the United States," said William Custer, director for the Center for Health Services Research at George State University in Atlanta. "It is coming apart at the edges, and those edges are small business and low-wage workers. The levees are breaking."
According to Kaiser, the number of businesses offering health insurance to their workers continues to decline, with just three out of five businesses offering insurance to their workers. That's just 60% in 2005, down from 69% in 2000, the study found. The drop stems almost entirely from small businesses dropping coverage because of cost concerns.
LAdad readily admits that he doesn't like his job at UPS. He goes to work at 2:00 am and gets all banged up and sore loading parcels onto trucks. The reason he does it instead of seeking other work is because UPS offers full health coverage for our entire family. My job offers no health insurance.
"We're in a new universe of healthcare coverage, where it is a commodity only for the wealthy," said Jerry Flanagan, with the Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica consumer rights group.
And yet people want me to believe that every other First World country on this planet is communist because their governments provide universal health care that is paid for through taxation. And that if the U. S. tried to follow suit we would end up bankrupt.