There's been a lot of talk lately about the "safety net" for workers laid off due to the declining economy. However, the New York Times reports, the net may not be strong enough to ensure that those who lose their jobs and health benefits continue to get needed medication. COBRA was supposed to address this problem but the high cost of premiums under the program puts COBRA out of reach for many people. Harvard University health expert Robert Blendon told the newspaper that "intense anxiety" about loss of coverage may spark debate about universal health coverage.
SOURCES: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU (Family income); KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION/ HEALTH RESEARCH EDUCATIONAL TRUST EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS SURVEY, 2001 (Premiums); U.S. DEPT. OF LABOR (Unemployment benefit)
SOURCE: KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION NATIONAL SURVEY ON THE UNINSURED, 2000