For many years I had the pleasure of working at Barstons Child’s Play. During my time at the store I worked as an assistant manager and buyer. I was a full-time employee and individual employee health insurance was covered. When my husband and I looked at the rates to pay for my husband and two children on the policy, we knew we could not afford it. We could barely manage rent, student loans and food on our combined salaries. We paid out of pocket for medical care for many years for both my husband and two sons. When Fred was hired at American University, as part of a large insurance pool we could finally afford FAMILY insurance.
Part of my dismay at the way insurance is handled in the US is the fact that small business is asked to shoulder such a heavy burden. There is no way Child’s Play -a small mom and pop store, could afford to offer the same low group rate that American University could offer. I made the choice to work at a small specialty store. I really enjoyed working there. I could have probably worked retail for a large corporation and maybe found a affordable family policy. I did not do that. In retrospect, Did my decision kill my husband? I guess it did. But do you want to live in a country where we decide where we work based on what insurance is available to its employees? And in such a country, what would happen to all the Mom and Pop Stores?
There is a reason in “73 cents” the small businessman is holding his head at his desk, late at night with a past due notice in front of him. Small business suffers greatly in this country.