Unions have had a huge impact upon benefits of U.S. workers in the entire country than they are given credit. Unions have negotiated contracts that include health insurance for employees of corporations/like entities in-which the Union represents. U.S. corporations/like entities had to include health benefits to employees of non-Union represented workplace in an effort to keep Unions out of employee representation. Such Union representation included employer offered insurance with employer partial payment of monthly premiums. (See: AFL-CIO, http://www.aflcio.org/Issues ).
Sometimes, do we "cut-off our nose to spite our face"? Yes, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed for universal health-care to Congress in 1933, as part of the New Deal. There became an unusual joining of lobbying Congress with an agreement between the AFL-CIO Unions and Coalition of American Companies, C.A.C., telling Congress NO! The reasons behind the AFL-CIO was negotiating for health benefits is a major point that encourages nationwide Union membership. The CAC argued the ruin of employing companies if they were forced to offer health insurance. (See: Congressional Record via Thomas Library of Congress, http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas2.html referring to President Thomas Jefferson).
Poverty in the U.S. in 2011 was 15.7% with 46.2 million in poverty (includes people of all ages) better than the 16.3% in 2010. (See, U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p60-243.pdf). The total of people in the U.S. without health insurance in 2011 is 308,827, families (not the number of people in the families, the number of families) 252,316, children under 18 is 72,568, under the age of 6 is 23,860 (See U.S. Census Bureau). U.S. people working who have no access to health insurance is 193,213 between the age of 18 to 64. U.S. people with a disability is 14,968 who have no access to health insurance, but required due to the disability, as per U.S. Census. Is it any surprise those at the poverty level cannot afford health insurance?
What is the cost of health insurance? $512 a month for one healthy male, via CareFirst/Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Washington. The monthly premium for a woman, especially child bearing age, is much higher. (See: The American Dream. http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/health-insurance-companies-say-that-they-plan-to-raise-premiums-significantly-because-of-the-new-health-care-reform-law ).
Have we done this to ourselves, due to our complacency of citizens running our government?
"Government, a necessary evil of a society": Thomas Payne (author of Common Sense)
"Government can become so big, a huge influence upon its people to become tyrannical. The best option is to give the government to We the People"". Consensus of delegates 1787 Constitutional Convention.
Personal bankruptcies in the U.S., 60% are directly due to medical bills. (See, The American Journal of Medicine). The same report indicates, out of those bankruptcies due to medical bills, 75% have health insurance. Are we, as a society, protecting infants? The answer is clearly NO!