On Monday March 17th at 5:40pm I was suddenly released by my company who is reorganizing. My job was no longer needed and I suddenly had no income. I was offered two weeks of severance pay. OK fine; thats business. It would have been nice to have a softer landing but I can't complain This company hired me when I lost my job of 25 years. I wrote about my experience here (Unemployed and job seeking; An eye opener into the health insurance Juggernaut)
At the time I was let go by my previous company at 52 years old. I had never been without health insurance in my life. In that case I had a 13 month severance so I had time to deal with it but this was during the height of the great recession with the difficulties of finding work, the 13 months flew by. I was suddenly faced with the realities of not having health insurance in a pre-ACA environment.
This time around I have an opportunity to obtain health insurance with the support of the ACA. I am 58 now and although I am in relatively good shape it is still scary nonetheless. I went from a six figure salary to a $450 a week unemployment check. I work in the high tech industry in San Jose, CA so my rent here is just shy of $2000/month, still helping to pay my daughters college loan off and I have 5 years left on my mortgage (a house in Virginia, which I am renting out with the help of a property manager).
Most of the focus of the fight for healthcare (and rightfully so) has been around less fortunate individuals and families of lower incomes. My current experience gives me an opportunity to reflect and share how the ACA affects people like myself who are considered middle to upper middle class. Follow me below the fold.
It sucks to be out of work anytime but now at 57 I worry that I will not be able to easily find work. The high tech industry is by and large a younger persons job market.(Silicon valleys brutal ageism)
Silicon Valley has become one of the most ageist places in America. Tech luminaries who otherwise pride themselves on their dedication to meritocracy don’t think twice about deriding the not-actually-old. “Young people are just smarter,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told an audience at Stanford back in 2007. As I write, the website of ServiceNow, a large Santa Clara–based I.T. services company, features the following advisory in large letters atop its “careers” page: “We Want People Who Have Their Best Work Ahead of Them, Not Behind Them.”
I'm fortunate to have worked at a company for 25 years with a good 401K plan with matching and profit sharing. I took a hit to these investments on my last layoff but I still own a home (5 years left on my mortgage), and I rolled the surviving funds of my 401K into a guaranteed annuity (also 5 years away from fully vesting). If you do the math I'm also 5 years away from being eligible for collecting Social Security so at the moment I have 5 years to go until I reach a decent retirement (I won't be rich but I'll be OK).
The layoff puts me at risk as I might had to make some tough choices about my retirement plans unless I find something quickly but thanks to the ACA, health insurance is not something I have to be overly concerned about in this tough time. What concerns me, are jerks like John Barasso and Jennifer Stefano and countless other conservative right wing ditto heads who are so terrified that the ACA will help people and become as accepted as Social Security and Medicare that they don't realize how ridiculous they look.
I know that the ACA is still far away from better solutions such as single payer but it helps everyone, especially the poor and less fortunate, but also more fortunate people like myself and rich people as well who will reap the economic benefits.
As time goes by more people such as myself of all idealogical stripes will come to understand the importance of the ACA
Washington (CNN) - Support for the country's new health care law appears to be rebounding slightly, according to a new national poll.I don't know if the reality will offset the bullshit by the 2014 midterms but the trend will continue eventually until a tipping point is reached(ACA Is On Fire. Obamacare Now A Third Rail).
A CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday indicates that nearly all of the increased support comes from upper-income and college-educated Americans.