As you know, I was involved in a major accident last week. On Labor Day, it's a good time to take stock of the things I don't have to worry about.
I am fortunate to have good insurance. I wasn't sitting on the side of the road worried about how I was going to pay for the helicopter evacuation, emergency room visit, or hospital stay. My employer has generous sick leave so I was not worrying about lost wages or how I was going to pay the bills during recovery. My employer has been very helpful in a lot of ways the last few days including sending someone over to the towing company to retrieve my personal belongings from my car (including my glasses which were in there...I can't wear contacts right now due to a small corneal abrasion).
But how many workers are fortunate enough to be in this situation? Not nearly enough. Life is full of peril. It's not like I was out skydiving or something. Things can happen which are not your fault that can cause someone to lose their house or go bankrupt. That's part of the reason universal health care and basic job protections are important. Many people could be fired for missing a week of work regardless of the circumstances. They would then be left with all the bills and no job...and there are people that would just say pick yourself up by your bootstraps (even when your employer does his best to cut off those bootstraps).
I am lucky. My situation should be the rule, not the exception for hard working Americans.