Editor’s note: David Newman of Nyack is one of six bloggers working with The Journal News and LoHud.com as part of our Jobless Recovery series. The 12-part series examines the job market and the impact unemployment has had on the Lower Hudson Valley. As the region climbs out of the recession, some sectors and businesses are expected to grow. Read more at LoHud.com/joblessrecovery.
This past week saw the long-promised opening salvo, the “Obamacare” repeal debate in the House of Representatives. I’m not going to take a position about the merits of the health care reform bill that was signed into law last year or potential alternatives and I’m sure that you don’t need me to counsel you about the issue. So, what’s this all about?
Opponents of the health care reform law rue the day that the bill was ever passed. They view the new legislation as a misguided and especially mistimed calamity. The President, they say, was concentrating on the wrong thing during the continuing economic crisis. It’s about one thing and one thing only, they say — jobs, jobs, jobs. They’re right, it is about jobs.
It’s about what happens when you’re cruising along smoothly and the next thing you know, you’re out of a job. And before too long, you could be out of health insurance, too.
You see, the one thing that the President and Congress cannot protect you from is career displacement. All of the best considered economic programs are only so good for so long. Inevitably the next depression or recession will come along and millions of layoffs are sure to follow. When that happens, there is no guarantee that you will get to keep your job — or your health insurance.
So, take it from someone who saw his company shrink from eighteen thousand to less than five thousand during his tenure. You are not immune; it can surely happen to you, just as it happened to me and the hundreds of people I know personally. Then what will you do about your health insurance, especially if you or a family member has a pre-existing condition? What happens after your COBRA coverage runs its course as it has for so many long term unemployed during this so-called recovery?
That’s why this whole health care repeal debate really is all about jobs, jobs, jobs — the jobs that can be lost at the first signs of plummeting markets. So, let me reverse course because I wasn’t being honest. I will give you my opinion.
I want the same health care coverage options offered to members of Congress. How about you? Write your representative.Write all the representatives.
About the writer
David Newman was former in-house counsel at an international technology company. He specialized in regulatory compliance and public policy, with an emphasis on the international supply chain to the United States. In fact, David was highly involved in the discussions surrounding the development of regulatory rules designed to prevent terrorists from using instruments of the international supply chain to smuggle weapons of mass destruction into the country.
After sixteen years with the company, including efforts that saved tens of millions of dollars, David’s business group was eliminated as part of a much larger, recession induced series of cost saving measures.
In this jobless recovery, David’s blog posts are designed to help him and his “in-transition” counterparts recover a spirit of belonging, perspective and sometimes humor.