80 years ago, America stepped one foot out of the depression and right into World War II. In order to avoid the looming threat of inflation that came with the sudden change in available workers back home, the government placed a cap on wages. But they let businesses offer employer-sponsored health insurance to attract employees.
While this resolved the immediate problem in 1942, it created a new problem in America: Job Lock. Fear of losing health insurance coverage caused more folks to stay in jobs that weren’t right for them, or set aside dreams of starting their own business because of the exorbitant cost of self-insurance. By 2009, a report found that Job lock costs U.S. workers an estimated $3.7 billion every year in foregone wages.
It took nearly 70 years to see a significant change in the way American receive health insurance coverage. And even with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), there’s room for improvement. The number of uninsured Americans fell by 20 million, or 7.8%, after the implementation of the ACA, until 2017. Since, then, the uninsured rate has slowly started to climb again.
Americans need access to health care. So, how do we find coverage that takes into account the needs of the patient while also honoring the work of the doctors?
Renee Cardarelle, Community Member
Senator John Marty, MN-66
Episode Manger: Renee Cardarelle
Producer: Theresa Meis
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