This is what our health care system has come to.
by Caleb Reading
Via the NY Times:
ASHLAND, Ohio — As jobless numbers reach levels not seen in 25 years, another crisis is unfolding for millions of people who lost their health insurance along with their jobs, joining the ranks of the uninsured.
The crisis is on display here. [Employee of the Archway factory] Starla D. Darling , 27, was pregnant when she learned that her insurance coverage was about to end. She rushed to the hospital, took a medication to induce labor and then had an emergency Caesarean section, in the hope that her Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan would pay for the delivery.
And I don’t blame her for it.
Some parts of the federal safety net are more responsive to economic distress. The number of people on food stamps set a record in September, with 31.6 million people receiving benefits, up by two million in one month.
Nearly 4.4 million people are receiving unemployment insurance benefits, an increase of 60 percent in the past year. But more than half of unemployed workers are not receiving help because they do not qualify or have exhausted their benefits.
About 1.7 million families receive cash under the main federal-state welfare program, little changed from a year earlier. Welfare serves about 4 of 10 eligible families and fewer than one in four poor children.
In a letter dated Oct. 3, Archway told workers that their jobs would be eliminated, and their insurance terminated on Oct. 6, because of “unforeseeable business circumstances.”
Oh, and one more thing:
the insurance company denied her claim, leaving Ms. Darling with more than $17,000 in medical bills.