Thursday, February 26, 2009
That's about the size of it for hundreds of thousands of twenty-somethings here in New York. If you have no health insurance, fall off a motorcycle and rip your arm off, you go home and sew it back on. It's not the best of all possible worlds, but if you don't have health insurance, you know a visit to the hospital will be five thousand bucks on a good day.
So you stumble around and hope one of your buddies has a jar of whatever drug you need, because Lord knows you can't afford it.
As things stand now, I believe you can claim your kids on your insurance until they turn 18, or 21 if they're enrolled in college. How many 21-year-old kids score jobs with full health insurance? To my way of thinking, anything less than 100% is unacceptable. Of course, you can't get there immediately.
Governor David Paterson, though, has finally come up with a good idea, and it's about time. He wants to allow us to keep our kids covered until they're 29. That would help about 10% of the uninsured twenty-somethings, and you have to admit it's better than nothing. Not much better, but at least it's something. The Times says two dozen other states already do this, and it's nice to see we're getting with the program.
Now if we can only convince part-time UFT President Randi Weingarten that privatization of Emblem Health is an abysmal idea, we'll really have gotten somewhere. It's unfortunate that Ms. Weingarten, despite the market's recent performance, still worries about how much the IPO will benefit her patronage mill, while few doubt privatization will result in city workers paying more and receiving less from their most popular plans, GHI and HIP.
Do you doubt it? When they merged, there was talk of improving benefits for subscribers. But GHI subscribers still don't have the option of HIP-style care with no co-pay, and HIP subscribers haven't got the wide variety of doctors available to those with GHI.
Tell your state legislators you support Governor Paterson's plan, and would like to see it enacted ASAP.