Negative public opinion on COBRA subsidy

Kim Morris | March 11, 2009

The details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are still coming to light in the public media and it has only been about two weeks since consumer reviews and public opinions began to emerge on the program to make health insurance affordable to laid-off workers through a COBRA premium subsidy. Surprisingly, published comment on the 65% COBRA subsidy has been overwhelmingly negative!

Consider this sampling of blogs and articles with complaints about the government program to subsidize the cost of COBRA:

Yikes! Certainly the COBRA subsidy isn't perfect nor was it intended to solve all of our nation's health care problems. Free government money isn't necessarily all bad for everyone, yet we are challenged to find a single published opinion praising the new measure. Is this a case of "the silent majority" not posting opinions, a "no good deed goes unpunished" warning to lawmakers or just another sampling of the whiners who want "free" health care without regard for the cost or effects to our society? We might also consider the natural American tendency to criticize any government program that reallocates tax money paid by the majority for the benefit of the few (unless we are one of the few).

This blog covers many of the small tidbits that offer a small step forward in helping individuals afford some type of health insurance. The underlying mission of MedSave.com - a business that was founded more than ten years ago and has served tens of thousands of people in all 50 states- is helping individuals find the best available and affordable health insurance solution in the real world right now! We have likely accumulated enough experience to suspect that there will always be complaints about health insurance. Yet none of us will achieve personal financial security through complaints or waiting for a better health care solution. We know that no health insurance solution will ever be perfect and that full "free" universal health care is only an idyllic myth. Certainly the new COBRA law falls into the category of offering some substantial help for some people who need health insurance. In the end, the government's COBRA subsidy measure may prove no more or no less effective in expanding health coverage for Americans than any of the other growing number of low cost commercial and public health plans available to unemployed workers.

No single government or industry action can offer a sweeping solution to our nation's health care woes, yet we suspect that public opinion will continue be critical of any reform measure that offers anything less.

MedSave.com acknowledges the efforts of Allan Hoving (not affiliated with us) for publicly posting many of the COBRA news and article links mentioned in this blog through Twitter.

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