Health Insurance Horrors

November 13, 2008

Not posting to my blog for two days feels a bit like neglecting my toddler. Say, not giving him breakfast or lunch. Resuming with a chorus-of-snores subject — health insurance — is almost as neglectful.

But health insurance came to mind today when I read that President-elect Barack Obama is resigning his U.S. Senate seat, effective Sunday. Does it mean he has to pay the full cost of his premiums, including the share his employer paid? That’s what my wife and I have had to do under the so-called COBRA bridge plan.

A Google search turned up a generous benefit federal employees enjoy. If I’m interpreting the policy correctly, our president in waiting is eligible for two 31-day extensions at no cost. So is the woman who delivers our mail if she retires. Such a benefit would save my family close to $2,000.

There are other irrational inequities too arcane to explain. Fair to say the U.S. health-care system is unfair and profoundly neglectful of millions of people, people with far greater worries than mine.

I  hope Obama sticks to his pledge to reform the system, even in the face of more disastrous and pressing problems. I believe he will.

UPDATE: A plan is afoot to link economic stimulus and health-care reform.