Random Blog A Musing Farf

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


First off, there is some sad news. Husband did not get the job I reference in my birthday wish. It was a total shock to us since he had been informed that the job was all but his, but I am holding fast to the notion that all things happen for a reason. Since Husband hates being a lawyer anyway, I suggested that he use this time to figure out what it is that he really wants to do for a living. I suggested a few ideas such as Ice Cream Flavor Inventor (I would, of course, be the official taster), but he rejected that. Well, excuuuse me for trying!

It’s been a few days since I have had a chance to sit and write, but work has been insanely busy. By the time I get home, I am so tired, it is all I can do not to fall asleep immediately. But, thankfully, things are calmer today and I have some time while waiting for a conference call to start.

The reason work has been so busy is that I represent a union that represents workers who recently had their health insurance benefits terminated because the employer failed to make the proper insurance premium payments. As part of my job in representing these people, I have been speaking to all the affected workers about how their life has been changed now that they have no health insurance. This is incredibly depressing. I have met people with potentially life threatening chronic illnesses who can not get the medication they need. I have also met a single mother of three who suffers from debilitating migraines. She takes medication daily to combat this, but 9 pills cost more than $200. This woman makes $1600 a month after takes and will have to pay $600 just for her medication. That is not going to leave enough to pay rent and feed her children. I am both sickened and saddened by the entire ordeal. Of course, if she forgoes the medication in favor of rent, she will be too ill to take care of her young children. She literally can not win this fight.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not necessarily a supporter of universal health care. Too many times I have heard of long waits for doctor appointments and inadequate access to care. Me? I like to see the doctor right away. But, there is the flip side. The workers who lost their health care could lose their homes and the plight of the uninsured and underinsured is nothing to be taken lightly. There was an article in the New York Times (I think – if I find it I will link to it) a few months back that made my skin crawl. Basically, it was about people foregoing critical end of life treatments that had a low rate of success so that they would not bankrupt their families. Yikes. What a horrible choice to have to make. And yet, people make it everyday.

So what’s the answer? I have no idea. But I do know how lucky I am. If Husband or I lose our jobs, hopefully the other will still be employed and we can fall back on that insurance. I don’t think my employer is going to stop paying my insurance premiums as a strategy in a labor dispute and, if they did, I am relatively healthy and unlikely to be in dire need of insurance.

But at least one positive has come out of this situation. I remember why I originally became a labor lawyer. My passion is renewed and now, I will stop blogging and go back to fighting for those who feel powerless to fight for themselves. And, if you don’t hear from me for a few days, you will know why.


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ALM said...

Good for you, that you're doing that... it's a horrible horrible situation & unfortunately the unions really need to step in to help - because government and private industry sure aren't.

Suzanne said...

Crap, I just wrote some big long thing about how great this was, but I stupidly lost it. Just so you know, I agree with Peg that you are a "Thinking Blogger."