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The Safety Net Gets A Temporary Repair

December 27th, 2009, 12:12 am admin Leave a comment Go to comments

The concept of a safety net, there for support when you’re down and out and need a little help to get back on your feet, is one we don’t talk enough about. For example, in yesterday’s Midday Open Thread, Laura posted about the emergency room (known in most hospitals as the Emergency Department) and what it’s really for. This is a topic we wrote about back in Jan, 2008, anticipating the recession to come.

Times are hard, and jobs are scarce. So while we debate and discuss health reform, don’t forget about this other aspect of the safety net:

With the job outlook grim, unemployed workers received an unexpected boost this week as President Obama signed legislation authorizing a six-month extension of the COBRA health care subsidy program that was part of the economic stimulus bill passed in February. “That makes me pretty happy,” says Don Hall, 56, who lives outside Sandusky, Ohio. A supervisor with an MBA at an automotive parts supplier to Ford Motor Company, Hall was laid off in October 2008. He recently sent a letter of hardship to Wells Fargo to try to save his house from foreclosure. His subsidized COBRA payment has been $258 a month and he says not having to pay an additional $500 a month for health care coverage is a godsend. “When you have to draw straws between paying the utility bills, the mortgage and health care, it’s hard.

Jobs, stimulus and health care. It’s all interwoven into the safety net that Americans need. This holiday season, remember those in need, and support those politicians who remember with you.

This isn’t all that reform is about but life would certainly be more precarious without that net.

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