Working Poor Confused About New Healthcare Law

The mother of a young South Carolinian shared her daughter's story earlier this week on a political blog I frequent. Her daughter was pretty upset about the "poor people" around the country "who don't want to work". It was these people, her boss swore, who were causing him to have to cut her daughter's pay to cover the cost of the insurance he was going to have to provide. So the mother asked her daughter a question. "You have a full-time job. You work hard. Could you afford your own health insurance?"


"Then you're a poor person."

The woman's daughter works as an assistant manager in a small, multiple location chain of delicatessens. The owner of the deli chain, who was dead set against the healthcare reform bill, plans on reducing his employees pay by 15% to cover the costs of the insurance he is going to have to offer.

This may have been the most poignant story I’ve read during the nationwide, twenty four a day, seven day a week healthcare debate in which the nation has been engaged. More than any of the hundreds of glowing press releases, dour op-ed articles and political analysis pieces that have been circulating around the internet these last few weeks, this particular exchange spotlighted one of the issues even a perfect healthcare plan would fail to address -- the self image of a significant portion of the American public.

The intense, passionate and sometimes violent debate over the healthcare bill passed by the House of Representatives on Sunday night and signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday has shown that plenty of Americans, including a significant number of those who are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, were vehemently opposed to “government healthcare.” And there were millions more, like the woman’s daughter mentioned above, who had come to accept the idea that they could not afford healthcare insurance as a fact of life. Even now, the partisan vitriol surrounding this new law continues unabated, as if we are in the overtime portion of a football game that has had to go to extra innings to be decided.

There are too many of our citizens who are like the daughter in the anecdote, citizens whose personal circumstances would be vastly improved by the new healthcare law who are nevertheless opposed to its very existence.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less