Category Archives: Unemployment

December 31, 2009

A title of some yet-to-be-written work popped into my head last night: “Mourning the death of the artist within.”  It’s ironic that I would have such a thought at the end of the year in which I received my second Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

But despite the honor and my excitement about the project I will be paid to pursue because of it, I feel a little part of me dimming.  I have spent the past year trying to redefine myself and my capabilities in an ongoing attempt to make this blog moot and to shed “Pink-Slipped Girl” from my identity.  (I don’t know what I would change my Twitter name to, though.)  In the process, I have accepted assignments from business publications and begun a monthly column in a life and leisure magazine.  I have jazzed up my LinkedIn profile, taken classes in internet marketing and website design, redesigned my business cards and promoted myself at networking events as a do-it-all woman who can crunch your numbers just as well as she can write television commercials for you.  I have created an e-newsletter for one non-profit, written grants for two others and written one for myself.  I have received advice from seasoned business professionals on valuing my time and skills, pricing my services at their worth and dealing with clients who don’t pay.  I have proven my ability to stay focused and productive while working independently, I have met strenuous conflicting deadlines and I have been rejected from countless full-time positions that asked for any or all of the very skills or experiences I have just listed.

I’ve had one copywriting assignment for the whole year, four if you count the assignments I completed as part of the application for a job for which I was interviewed for over two hours but didn’t get.  Dialogue for scenes that may or may not eventually become full-length plays still runs through my head routinely, and sometimes it’s original enough for me to write it down, but to turn such words into a radio or television commercial seems like an assignment so far from my life that it’s almost as if I never held the job from which I was laid off.

I don’t bemoan the work that I was given in 2009.  I’m grateful for every byline, and the corresponding checks have helped the unemployment insurance continue past the point at which I had calculated it would expire.  Also, I can’t underestimate the potential value of every connection I make in the professional world by writing the business stories.

But I am more exhausted than I remember being at the end of 2008, and the more leads I follow, the fewer hours I spend in creative output.  This blog may be the best example.  Started in January as a cathartic tool to prove that I can write, blog and play alongside everyone else is this crowded internet space at least once a week, it has lied dormant for over one month, the longest I’ve ever gone without updating it.

In part, I blame my own boredom with the subject matter.  When things start to get old, it’s hard to revive them, and I’ve known marriages that were shorter than my employment hiatus has been.  But I also blame the break from the blog and the general feeling of creative famine on the constant hustle of always pursuing the next opportunity and on the burden of always having to say yes.

To never be sure when your state is going to go bankrupt and send out IOUs, to never know if the job sites you check most frequently will have anything you can tolerate posted, to never know which assignment or connection will be the one that changes your life is to be bound to an incessant hamster wheel whose speed changes but whose destination doesn’t.

Not that it’s impossible for business and creativity to coexist.  Every ad agency owner I know was in the creative department when s/he struck out on her/his own.  But eventually they all hired a creative department to be creative while they ran the business.  Since I haven’t been the creative being hired, I’ve had to do all the running.

I admit there’s a great sense of accomplishment in DIY employment, and I don’t miss the drama inherent in working in a place where there are other people around.  I just miss clocking out at 5:30 p.m. and remaining downtown for a nearby rehearsal at 7:00.  I miss having a work load that allowed enough time in the day for script ideas to interrupt the “real” work for 15 minutes or so.  I miss the ability to be so unconcerned about where clients/checks might come from the next year that I could spend all of December writing and revising in creative overdrive.

And so explains my Twitter updates from December 29th.  If freelance journalist, independent contractor or grant writer is to be my title for an even more extended period of time, where does the playwright go?  Does she flee to a grad school in a snowy land free from distractions and full of stages for two years?  Does she choose a low-residency MFA that promises to show her how to integrate creative writing into her daily life?  Or does she devote all of her energy to the hustle to make the sporadic work so steady that she can stop herself and others from living life laid off?

The year 2010 will tell.

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Filed under Arts and Culture, Business, Lifestyles, Me in other media, Unemployment

Love while living life laid off 2 – Is looking for love worth it when you’re unemployed?

By Mariam Williams

Last week, as I was deleting my inactive profile from an online dating website I hadn’t visited in almost a year, I noticed this poll in the top right-hand corner of the page:

poll on dating in recession

And here are the results:

poll on dating in recession answers

It should be no surprise that 46% of respondents said, “It has no impact on my attitude about dating,” given that the poll was posted on a dating website.  It was, however, something of a relief to me.  Sort of.

As you could probably tell from the first screenshot, I checked, “I would be less motivated to date.” My situation could be an example of karma in action.  For as long as I can remember, even several years before I actually started dating, I had a deal-breaker in my selection criteria: whatever he brings to the table must be equal to or greater than what I bring to the table.  As a teenager, that meant that at the very least, he was goal-oriented, had a 3.9 GPA and had college aspirations.  In college, the criteria was similar, but I learned that terms like “growing Christian” and “godly leader” had to be at the top of the list.  That decreased the prospects somewhat, but still, I was surrounded by potential mates.   And yet, the only man on campus (and maybe even in the whole city) who ever asked me out was one serving food in the buffet line of the residence halls’ food court. I didn’t bother to ask about his faith.  Top-tier-private-school-educated woman that I was becoming at the time, I wouldn’t date him.

If you’ve kept up with this blog for a while, you know I haven’t had much full-time work or made very much money since I graduated from college. And by living in a state where only about one-third of the population has a college degree, demanding equal to or greater than is unrealistic.  But I still want it.  So much so that even this recession hasn’t affected my belief that giving my number to someone who is unemployed is a waste of breath.  So much so that within the past year I have said, “I wouldn’t date me right now.”

I’ve been incredibly industrious in the past year and by no means idle.  I’m a woman of noble character, a loyal friend, a multi-talented artist, and a fine example of God’s interest in beauty, and none of that has changed due to my employment status.  But despite that last sentence, my confidence has waned a little.  I’ve had to ask myself, “What can I really bring to the table?” And I’ve had to reevaluate what I require of someone else.

Unemployment has struck people in all occupations, at all levels of education and at all pay levels.  The maximum benefit in Kentucky is $415 per week, so everyone’s income is closer to equal than it was when we were full-time employees, but does that mean I should accept the advances of the high school drop-out who was laid off from the city government’s street-sweeping staff?  And if I meet an attorney who’s still making six figures, is that now too much greater than?  I’ll be his intellectual peer, but what happens when we go to a party and his friends ask, “What does your girlfriend do for a living?”

I’ve been told that men don’t care about such things.  When I began my subscription to the dating website, I lived in my mother’s house, and I dreaded having to disclose that information.  I was told not to worry about it, since that scenario is always tolerable for a woman but never for a man once he graduates from college.

But it bothered me, probably a little bit more than my employment status does now.  See, I at least want to look like I can take care of myself.  The Proverbs 31 woman is, after all, an investor and merchant who has her stuff together.  I want to be able to be the 21st Century woman who offers to pay, but what if he’s okay with that?  For one of my aunts, that means he’s not getting a second date.  For me, it means I’m short 30 bucks that I need, and I mean need, for something else.  And if he’s also unemployed, where do we go for a date anyway?

It’s not just the money.  It’s the uncertainty that comes with unemployment that makes it difficult.  That feeling of not knowing when things will get better.  That thought that maybe you’re not doing all that you can to help your own situation.  The frustration with the pile of rejection letters.  The burden of worry, the daily grind of job-hunting, the need to concentrate on your own needs, right now, that makes you self-centered.  The self-centeredness that makes you a bad mate.

If I meet that attorney, will I start to feel worse about my own situation because he’s so successful?  Will my resentment come out as mistreatment and ruin the relationship?  Is a relationship worth getting into when you’re living life laid off?  Take the polls and leave your comments below.

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© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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Filed under Dating and Relationships, Lifestyles, Unemployment

Love while living life laid off – What if I were married right now?

By Mariam Williams

I recently pondered what my life would be like now if I had married the man I had been steadily dating a few years before I began living life laid off.

This man has always been very good at making money.  He is a self-described elitist, with an affinity for life’s finer things.  He’s attracted to ambitious, goal-oriented, career women, but has always been determined to make so much money that his wife’s career is a choice.

At first I thought about how wealthy I would be right now, how lucky I would feel to not have to accept unemployment compensation from the government, to not have to jump through all the hoops that go along with keeping it, to not have to look for a job each day or to not feel discouraged by the number and quality of the job openings.  My husband would have health insurance from his job, and he would attach me to his benefits.  I would have a better quality of life.

But then I remembered: my ex-boyfriend lost more than six figures when Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008.  He laid off the entire workforce of his small company, and his cash ran short.  So had we gotten married, instead of feeling the security I had first pictured, I would quite possibly have more worries and more responsibility because I would have more to lose than I do now.  Instead of making rent on a two-bedroom apartment, I would be concerned about the bank foreclosing on a 4,000-sqare foot house, because that’s the kind of lifestyle we would have lived.  I would be taking our children out of private school, or asking my mother, mother-in-law, or grandmothers to reignite their babysitting senses to keep from having to pay for daycare.  I would be dealing with a husband who was feeling like a failure because he couldn’t keep up the lifestyle we were used to, even though all that we would still be able to do would be more than what most people even dream about.  But his stress would be causing a strain on our marriage, and we might be headed toward divorce.

Or, we might be going for broke, inebriated with the power that comes from having nothing to lose.  I might be telling him some of my wilder business ideas and hearing him say, “Let’s do this thing!” He would be saying, “Let’s,” because he would want to be a partner, advisor and investor.  He would tweak some of the less creative ideas to make them more viable, or he would be inspired to reinvent himself as I reinvented myself.  It’s possible that we both would have come up with something brilliant that would take us off of the employment hiatus and reinforce the bond of marriage.

The thoughts remind me of a line from “The Necklace,” a short story by Guy de Maupassant.  There are many translations of the story and the line, but the one I remember is this: “How fickle life is!  How little it takes to make or break you!”

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© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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One Full Year of Living Life Laid Off

By Mariam Williams

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

one year anniversary calendarfree-printable-calendars.com

It’s not a happy anniversary, but I’m alive, and there’s still hope.  I’m thankful today for the writing opportunities God has given me in the past year.  I’ve gone from having a grand total of zero bylines to having 18 articles published in various print publications and having a regular column. By the end of the year, my publications list will include at least 25 entries.  I’ve put the name “Research Works” on my writing, editing and market research skills, and I’ve managed to convince a few people to let me put those skills to use and write their organization’s newsletters and press releases, come up with a slogan for their business or edit their regular business correspondence.  (I’m a little bitter that growing that into a viable business has been impossible given unemployment compensation’s requirement that I report any money I earn, even if it’s only a few dollars for a few hours in one week, but I’m trying to prove that honesty will get me somewhere.)

I’m thankful and more hopeful than I have been over the past few days, but I’m also admittedly confused as to why God has made so many opportunities for me in a dying field.  Let’s just be honest: print journalism is on life support.  Obviously, I can transfer my skills to online journalism, but the blogosphere is already heavily saturated, and people with more experience than I have get laid off every day.

It’s that looming uncertainty that makes me wonder if I missed something when I decided earlier this year that I wouldn’t take just any job that came along.  Was I supposed to humble myself, go to a temp agency or the Census Bureau and make less than I did at my last job and less than I do on unemployment?  At the eight-month mark, was I supposed to humble myself a little further and apply for a minimum wage job at the Target that’s now reopened right behind my apartment building?  Or was I right to wait?  A year later, is God saying to me, “Wait just a little bit more”?  Or is it time to do something entirely different from the path that I was on even before I began living life laid off?

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© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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Sen. Mitch McConnell’s response to the concerns of someone living life laid off

by Mariam Williams

During the first full week in September I wrote a letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell, expressing my views and concerns about the national healthcare debate.  His response – or rather, his lack there of – is disappointing at best.  At worst, especially when I consider how poor in health and indigent the state of Kentucky is as a whole, McConnell’s “response” is the equivalent of him using the state he represents as a piss pot.

He sent a form letter. A FORM LETTER! While this is understandable for a busy person, it’s disturbing in this case because it shows that nothing that has been said in the past month and a half – none of the “liberal” perspectives, none of the heart-wrenching stories about people who have died or gone bankrupt because of the greed of the health insurance industry, none of the President’s speeches – has had any effect on McConnell’s resistance to full and thorough healthcare reform.  I know this because, even though Sen. McConnell, on his website, claims that he spent the month of August going throughout the state to talk to people about this issue, he sent the EXACT SAME LETTER to a friend of mine ON AUGUST 11!  The letter he sent to me is dated September 11.  My friend scanned the response letter and posted it on facebook.  This friend did not even write the letter that the senator refers to in his generic response.  And we wonder why people feel like they don’t have a voice in government.

Before I continue with counterpoints to the generic response, I have to ask a favor of all of you reading this: If you wrote to Sen. Mitch McConnell and received this same letter, which you can read by clicking here for page one and here for page two, please write a handwritten note saying whatever you want directly on the aforementioned letter and then fill out the contact form on this blog.  I will then reply to you asking you to mail a copy of the letter to me or to scan it and email it to me.  Cover your address but leave the date line.  I would like to send as many generic form letters with handwritten responses back to the senator at one time as I can.

Since it is a form letter, Sen. McConnell’s generic response does not address the specific situation I included in my letter: unemployed people who have pre-existing conditions that aren’t covered by their inefficient, self paid, non-employer sponsored insurance, and that they can’t afford to treat.

He says in his letter that “private companies couldn’t possibly compete with government.”  I addressed this argument, and another argument that public-option opponents make that cancels it out when I said, “Opponents say, ‘A public option would obliterate private health insurance providers.  It would be so good, who wouldn’t join a government-run health insurance plan?’ and then they say, ‘How could the government efficiently run a health insurance plan? It would mean long waits and more red tape for your treatment.’”  He says the federal government would fund its plan through taxpayers, who are essentially an unlimited resource.  So here’s my question now: If you have all the money you would ever need to run a health care plan, you could afford to make it good, right?

He says another reason a public option “would soon become the only option” is that the government could dictate prices to doctors.  I’m not sure why this is or if it’s true, and if it is, I don’t see how it’s different from private insurance companies who negotiate to pay doctors and hospitals at a discounted rate.  Granted, this does cause problems.  Locally, the Norton Healthcare hospital system and Anthem, a health insurance provider, are in battle over how much – or how little – Anthem pays doctors.  This has forced patients to a) switch healthcare providers, which we all know sucks because you don’t want to leave a doctor you like and you don’t want to have to repeat your history to a new physician; b) switch insurance providers; or c) pay the out of network price to remain with Anthem and with their physician of choice.  I guess if we had a single payer plan, doctors would either make minimum wage and like it, make minimum wage and give me crappy care, or just not be doctors, and I guess that should make me shudder in fear.  But knowing that people in other countries who have a single-payer system still get cared for makes me unafraid.

I find it very interesting that Sen. McConnell is concerned about the government limiting the amount of money doctors can earn, but he wants to limit the amount patients can obtain in medical malpractice lawsuits.  Other than the obvious reason, it’s also interesting because there is no proof that medical malpractice lawsuits are crippling our healthcare system.  A recent article in Business Week says studies show that “comprehensive, nationwide reforms would lower overall health-care costs by 2.3% at most.”  In Texas, where the medical malpractice limit is $250,000, “health-care costs are still among the highest in the nation and are growing at a faster rate than in most other states.”  This isn’t common sense reform if it doesn’t work.

I completely agree with Sen. McConnell on this statement: “We should encourage insurers and employers to expand prevention and wellness programs that have proven to reduce costs.”  If my insurance providers’ underwriters had asked me what I eat every day or how often I exercise instead of only asking about the few things I had seen a doctor for in the past 10 years, they would have found that I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do to take care of myself and prevent heart disease and cancer, the sometimes preventable diseases that cost the most money to treat. And maybe they would have charged me less money (hahaha!).  Again, Sen. McConnell doesn’t address those who are unemployed or uninsured, but on this point he’s right.  As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and in this debate, it may be worth millions of dollars in treatment.  If prevention measures included seeing doctors annually, adults would know about problems earlier, which means they could get treated for a minor, inexpensive problem when it’s minor, instead of for a major problem when it’s life-threatening.  It would also keep more people out of the ER, that place they go when they don’t have a regular doctor and know their condition is at a breaking point.

Of course, a lot of the people who end up in the ER are uninsured and/or poor, like many of the people in Kentucky, and I still don’t know what Sen. McConnell’s plan is for those (his) people…

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© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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Filed under Health, Health Insurance, Unemployment

What’s up with lackluster job recruiters?

by Mariam Williams

I know the open job to unemployed ratio is out of control, but do recruiters at career fairs have to look so bored and annoyed with job seekers?

Yes, the unemployment rate in Kentucky is around 11 percent, but I’m thinking, if a job seeker comes to your booth, you could at least pretend like you might want that person to work for your company.  I attended a career fair this week and encountered recruiters who looked like they didn’t want to be there.  They were short with their answers, they looked bored, they wouldn’t elaborate when I asked questions that required more detail, they said they didn’t have any advice for anything beyond what I was already doing, and they said all their information was online anyway.  I expected two recruiters in particular to kick their feet up and begin filing their nails.

Has anyone else had this experience at job fairs? Am I being unfair here? Should beggars not be choosers? Should I just be glad there are still job fairs to go to?

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© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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Making the health care debate personal

I shared a prayer request and call to action with my friends and family over the weekend that some felt should be shared.  As I said to them, I’ve been blogging a lot lately about health care reform, but I’ve been concentrating on insurance and leaving out details about ailments.  Under the suggestion that details make it more real, I’m posting some of what I shared with those who care about me, and some of what I shared in a rather angry letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell.  I am just one example among millions of others, and if you’re not already in a situation like mine, remember: you are just one pink slip away from becoming just like me.  I hope my words will spur them, and now you, to action.

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For the past two weeks, I’ve been in severe pain due to something my insurance provider refers to as a pre-existing condition.  The pain normally comes and goes with varying and highly manageable severity, but in recent weeks, it’s been more intense than I’ve ever felt it before.  Other oddities about the pain show me that I undeniably need to see a doctor, but I’m afraid of what the diagnosis and costs associated with it might be.

I should also note, I’m in my late 20s, representing the largest group of un- or under-insured people in the country.  (Click here to read or hear two women who were diagnosed with cancer when they were in their 20s talk about their experience with insurance and the disease.  One chose to return to her family in Prague to get treatment rather than spend her energy fighting with insurance companies here.)

I have the kind of health insurance meant for catastrophic events.  I have a high-deductible plan with a low monthly premium and a health savings account that might have just enough money in it to cover my well-woman annual, which is due in October, and associated lab fees.  I pay for everything out of pocket until I hit the deductible, unless of course my treatment has to do with my pre-existing condition, at which point I could hit the deductible and spend an additional $1 million after that and still not get one cent of help from the health insurance plan.  I could have gone with a plan that would have eased the out of pocket expense in exchange for a higher monthly premium, and as of late, I’ve been thinking about switching to one that does just that.  However, I would be out more money each month and the results would be the same: nothing having to do with my pain, the pre-existing condition that needs to be treated, would be covered.

The pain also has me seriously questioning the determination – and I would say, even the God-given vision – I have had for almost one full year to not take or even apply for just any job that comes along, but rather to apply for jobs that I would enjoy as I simultaneously grow my free-lance writing and research assignments into a fully functioning business of my own.

This is what the current health care debate should be about – sick people who are afraid to go to the doctor and/or who can’t afford to go and would-be entrepreneurs who can’t go out on their own and possibly create more jobs because they can’t get health insurance because they or someone in their family has a pre-existing condition.  It’s not about constituents who already have insurance, it’s not about the ones who hate the black president (yes, I said it), it’s not about the representatives who hate him, and it’s not even about the word “socialism,” which most people can’t even give a correct definition of when asked.  It is a true testament to some people’s deep-seeded hatred and selfishness that fixing a for-profit health care system that bankrupts thousands of families every year, and that has left sick people who need help in the hands of an underwriter who is only qualified to diagnose what shareholders want, is even up for debate.

Yes, I am concerned about the national debt, and if there is ever a point at which I make over $250,000, I won’t want to pay more taxes on it.  But I don’t fear “big government” or more federal regulation being involved in my health care. I am already a part of an incredibly large, bureaucratic, government system, as I receive unemployment compensation.  For the most part, it runs efficiently, and it does cover my most basic needs (except health care) with the taxes I already paid when I was working full time.  Whenever there is a complication, however, it does indeed take two to three months to get it resolved.  While I wouldn’t want to wait two to three months for treatment of an illness, the complications with unemployment are no different from what I’ve experienced with private and even group health insurance plans, in which there is a great exchange of paperwork and phone calls within a large system with a lot of red tape whenever there is an unusual circumstance, like an out-of-network provider who was in the network the day before I went for treatment, or the policy that’s canceled when someone actually gets sick.  Mistakes will happen and great training will have to be invested before unusual circumstances cease to be a hindrance in a government-run plan, but I have confidence in its potential efficiency, and because it will be non-profit, I will know that I’m not being mistreated so that a lobbyist can pad my senator’s pocket.

The much-rumored “death panel” is already in place; the underwriters at every health insurance company are death panelists.  They are accountants, people with no medical training who decide which medical conditions and treatments will be covered.  They do so with one thing in mind: shareholders.  They make these decisions without regard to the welfare of those whom they effect the most, and the only time they change their minds is when a news program investigates them.

A public option, not just insurance reform, would enable me to see a doctor before my health gets worse, without fear of cost.  I don’t mind paying for health insurance or health care, when it goes toward research, technology, and qualified physicians.  I mind paying astronomical amounts for medical treatment that I NEED just because I was already sick and a bean counter was concerned about how that would eat into his profit. A public option, like Medicare for everyone who wants it, would provide a low-cost option for me and millions of others like me.  By forbidding exclusion riders, it would also force private insurance companies to abolish them from their own plans, giving me the option to do what I would like to do now: ditch the high deductible HSA plan and pay a higher monthly premium in exchange for the traditional co-pays and prescription drug benefits.  Provided I chose to stick with a private insurance company, I would actually be giving them more money annually than I am now.  Studies show that only about 3% of the American population would join a government-run plan.  The rest of us would do what I would like to do.

Have you ever noticed that arguments against this plan cancel themselves out?  Opponents say, “A public option would obliterate private health insurance providers.  It would be so good, who wouldn’t join a government-run health insurance plan?” and then they say, “How could the government efficiently run a health insurance plan? It would mean long waits and more red tape for your treatment.” These statements cannot co-exist!  If a government-run plan would be so bad, what do private insurance companies have to worry about?  And if it’s that good, what sensible CEO concerned about shareholders wouldn’t step up his game to stay competitive and retain customers?  And why are so many people – including my senator – so against it?

Reader, if you’re against real reform, please reconsider.  If you’re for it but you haven’t been vocal, please speak up.  And if you’re happy with the way things are, just wait.

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© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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