Daily VideoFebruary 12, 2009
Life on the Economic Edge
With unemployment on the rise and almost 2 million workers laid off in the last months more and more people are left without healthcare and are turning to government for help.
A recent study estimates that for every percentage point increase in unemployment 1 million additional people lose their health insurance. Many of these people are middle-to-upper income families that never thought they’d be seeking aid.
NewsHour Healthcare Correspondent Betty Ann Bowser talks to four recently unemployed people about their struggles with Medicaid and the hard choices that unemployment has left them with.
“I didn’t lose my job because I did something bad on my side, but it could happen to anybody, and I didn’t feel bad at all, because I pay a lot of taxes to the government all these years, and now I need help. So I didn’t feel bad at all, and I still don’t feel bad, to be honest with you.”–Donny Djurkovic
“My daughter was covered under her father. I had to do without. I had to — that was one of the things I had to make a hard choice, of not covering myself and pray and hope I don’t get ill, hurt, or anything else.”– Dee Brassell
“After I got the layoff, they offered me the COBRA, but it was going to be $1,608 a month, and I only get $365 for unemployment.”– Marta Calderon
“Before my daughter got her insurance, it was either I buy my medicine or my daughter’s medicine, who has a heart condition and epilepsy. And her medication is $180 for one bottle. So I gave up my medicine to be able to buy her medicine.”– Rosita Velez
Warm Up Questions
1. What do you think is the average monthly income for a doctor, a teacher, a musician, a scientist, a waiter, a store manager?
2. What is health insurance? How much do you think it costs per month?
1. Do you think that healthcare and health insurance are basic rights? Why or why not?
2. All of these people had jobs and paid taxes and now are laid off and need help from the government, does that change your perception of who is on Medicaid? Why?
3. Not all countries have insurance provided by employers. Research some other country healthcare systems which systems do you think are better? Why?
4. At least two of the interviewees said they had to give up their own medicine for their children. Can you think of a way to improve that?
5. Suggested lesson plans: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/us/jan-june08/miller_healthcare.html
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Schools in Baltimore, Maryland are experimenting with meditation as a way to help students deal with stress and trauma. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
February 19, 2017, marked the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s controversial executive order, which allowed the government to incarcerate Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Dozens of cities throughout the United States have been deemed “sanctuary cities,” where local governments resist cooperating with federal immigration officials, including handing over undocumented immigrants who have may committed very minor offenses. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In order to address the homelessness problem facing students, a school district in Kansas City, Kansas, with over 1,000 homeless students, partnered with Avenue of Life, a nonprofit organization that brings students out of homelessness by supporting the entire family. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In places where violent conflict makes it difficult for human rights investigators to observe, social media platforms now make it possible to document abuses.Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld