‘We Need Medicare for All’: Tens of Millions More Expected to Lose Employer-Based Insurance by 2021

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      “A lot of these businesses were out of their own pockets were paying their employees’ health insurance because they realized just how unfair and devastating it would be for a person to lose both their insurance and their income during a deadly pandemic,” Barlow told Common Dreams on Monday. “So a lot of these business owners are personally floating their employees to keep them on health insurance and that just shows how ridiculous it is to have a system where a person’s health insurance is tied to their job.”

      The Harvard Business School study also showed last month that business owners are attempting to keep employees covered for as long as possible, even as they face sharply reduced profits and yearly healthcare costs that average, according to Barlow, $7,000 per year for an individual and upwards of $20,000 per year for a family.

      “Small businesses forecasted a 50% decline in demand during the pandemic, placing them under extreme pressure to cut costs,” wrote the researchers. “In the month of April, 30% reported they did not make rent or mortgage payments. In spite of cost cutting across the board, small businesses have prioritized health insurance premiums: Our survey shows only 5% have resorted to cutting the health insurance benefit for their employees.”

      But in order to keep businesses open and workers paid, more employers are reporting a need to cut health insurance costs, or concerns that they eventually won’t be able to pay for them. Aaron Seyedian, a member of BLHCT who runs a house-cleaning business called Well-Paid Maids in Washington, D.C. and covers his employees’ vision and dental as well as medical insurance, has only been able to cover health coverage costs because of federal coronavirus aid, and had benefited from a year-long deferral program implemented by the District of Columbia. He still owes $14,000 in back premiums to his company’s insurer.


      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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