You want the definition of a disaster? It’s when three out of five bankruptcies in this country are due to medical bills. Mine was.* When 2.2 million people a year declare bankruptcy, there’s clearly something wrong.
In a recent NY Times article, 60-something Susan Zimmerman, who has three part-time jobs and is too young to collect Social Security or Medicare, makes a statement that should shock every American. What she says should make everyone ask the question, “What the hell kind of country are we living in?” Zimmerman says, “If I break my wrist, I lose my house.” None of her three part-time jobs come with any benefits and Zimmerman says she is counting the days until she becomes eligible for Medicare.
Ultimately, the Affordable Care Act should make it possible for people like Susan Zimmerman to have access to decent insurance that’s not tied to any employer. That’s at least one step in the right direction.
* I used to have a lot of shame around the fact that my husband and I went through bankruptcy, but not anymore. Obviously, I’m not proud of it, but I’m going public with my story because I want everyone to band together and figure out solutions to help the 50+ age group reinvent themselves. If we all share our collective stories, perhaps we can find a way forward. Please send me your stories of reinvention, any resources you’ve found helpful, and how you’re coping. Let’s get a dialog going and crowdsource some solutions.