Buried way too deep in this lengthy post is a reference to the new book by Susan Sered (an anthropologist) and Rushika Fernandopulle, MD, Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity (Amazon Link).
Here at Medscape (registration required) you can read or listen to Fernandopulle talk (far more briefly than I) about "Breaking the Link," why it's time to let go of employment based coverage.
When I posted on this earlier, Matthew Holt commented:
I think that this is how things will eventually play out. Sometime after the next recession, the votes in favor of solving the uninsurance/employment based-mess will be there because so many voters will be uninsured and facing their 50s and early 60s in a real crisis.
BUT saying this is how it ought to be just accepts that we are going to have several more years of the continued tragedy of uninsurance. And I can't say that I want to have that, even if it's a necessary evil to get to universal coverage. There are just too many awful human stories connected to it.
He's right. There's going to be lots more needless suffering. But there already is suffering. This is not a theoretical projection. It's here now. That's what Sered and Fernandopulle have captured. And no matter how much we may disdain Wal-Mart and some other employers who can afford coverage, avoid paying for it, trying to shore up a failing, dysfunctional system is increasingly wasted time, energy ... and suffering.
Go listen to Fernandopulle. And kudos to him and to Sered for humanizing the story that's far too old.