Monday, September 6, 2010

Reflections on Labor Day

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.


Sassa said...

Talk about winning the lottery. You sure had the luck...other than you had to pay the price with injuries. Some European countries have that same insurance BUT taxes are about 53%. Someone has to pay. Hope you are feeling better and mending. People never find out what they have until they need it.

Toad said...

European countries MAY pay 53% tax? I don't know. I would suggest WE Americans pay a whole lot MORE taxes than some think? I am not going to list the taxes we pay, or the taxes we pay on taxes, because we all know It's a BUNDLE. Nuff said about that issue.

Hale: You are so correct that having the benefit of a GREAT employer Is probably NOT the norm? I am happy your In good hands with yours. It reminds me of what the company I worked at 38 years was like BEFORE It was purchased in 1983 and lost the "Family" business code of ethics.

kkdither said...

I, too, am lucky. When I spent lots of time in the hospital with complications of a twin pregnancy, I didn't worry that I'd lose my house either.

I agree. Something as basic (and ridiculously expensive) as good health care should not be driven by your economic status in the world. I don't mind working and paying for basic rights for everyone, regardless of what job they hold.

I think we pay for healthcare for everyone no matter what. That $10.00 tylenol or $6.00 bandaid you get in the hospital is subsidizing those who have no insurance and can't pay their bills.

Beejay said...

Hale, You are indeed a lucky one. So many people would be in a true panic at this point.

You have made some very valid points.

I wish you a speedy recovery....hopefully, your eye abrasion will heal quickly. Those can be pretty painful. I am certain the rest of your body will be healed in record time, given your overall activity level!

We need universal health care, no question about it. It is the only way to control these medical costs.

Toad said...

I neglected to add, that the monies we pay for healthcare can also be added to the tax dollars we pay (as an apple to apple comparison) vs. the European countries, since these PROGRESSIVE countries provide healthcare to their citizens as part of the "taxes" they pay. I suggest this probably brings us closer to that 53%.?